Trinity scientists make antibiotics breakthrough
Published 19/02/2016 | 02:30
Scientists in Trinity College Dublin have made an antibiotics breakthrough that will help in the development of drugs to fight common but devastating bacterial infections.
The race is on to develop new drugs, as antibiotics are increasingly losing their ability to destroy bugs.
The Trinity scientists have provided the first crystal-clear molecular blueprint of Globomycin - an antibacterial candidate with promise in stemming the onrushing post-antibiotic tide.
It may help the design of new antibiotic solutions to common but devastating infections.
The World Health Organisation has warned that in "a post-antibiotic era" even minor injuries and common infections could prove fatal, so new drugs are desperately needed.
The warning comes as a new Europe-wide report shows that bacteria in humans, food and animals continue to show resistance to the most widely used antibiotics.
Scientists warn that resistance to the drug ciprofloxacin, which is critically important for the treatment of human infections, is very high in campylobacter, thus reducing the options for effective treatment of severe foodborne infections.
Multi-drug-resistant salmonella bacteria continue to spread across Europe.
The findings of this latest annual Europe-wide report by EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) underline once again that antibiotic resistance poses a serious risk to human and animal health.
This risk was identified by the European Commission as a major priority in its political agenda on food safety.
A spokesman said: "Every year in the EU, infections caused by antimicrobial resistance lead to about 25,000 deaths - but the threat is not confined to Europe."
He added: "This is a global problem that requires a global solution."
The report also found evidence of resistance to the antimicrobial colistin in Salmonella and E coli among poultry in the EU.
This is worrying because it means that this last-resort drug may soon no longer be effective for treating severe human infections with salmonella.