News / Health

Researchers Make Critical Antibiotic Alternative Discovery

Researchers say anti-bacterial protein, PlyC could be effective antibiotic alternativeResearchers say anti-bacterial protein, PlyC could be effective antibiotic alternative
x
Researchers say anti-bacterial protein, PlyC could be effective antibiotic alternative
Researchers say anti-bacterial protein, PlyC could be effective antibiotic alternative
Phil Mercer
SYDNEY — Researchers in Australia say they have made a critical discovery in the search for an alternative to antibiotics.  Scientists say it is important to find new ways to treat illnesses without antibiotics, many of which are becoming less effective because microbes are becoming more resistant.

A team at Monash University in Melbourne believes an antibacterial viral protein called PlyC could be used as an alternative to antibiotics.
 
It was first identified as a possible treatment for infections in 1925 but research was abandoned following the discovery of antibiotics.
 
After six years studying the structure of the protein with colleagues at the Rockefeller University and University of Maryland, Australian researchers have worked out how it kills the bacteria that cause sore throats, pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
 
Dr. Sheena McGowan from Monash University describes the protein as a potent bacterial killing machine that resembles a flying saucer carrying a pair of warheads.
 
It works by locking onto the surface of the bacterium and then boring though the exterior to destroy it.
 
McGowan says it could be invaluable when conditions such as pneumonia do not respond to traditional treatments.
 
“There is antibiotics at the moment for those particular types of diseases. We sort of see that there's a bit of resistance being built up in the bacterial community almost, and some of our antibiotics aren't quite as effective as they used to be," McGowan said. "So this kind of ground route, basic research needs to be done quite early so that we have some time to develop them as safe human therapeutic over the timeframe when the antibiotics can keep working.”
 
Australian and U.S. researchers have been decoding PlyC's atomic structure, which is an important step in developing the protein into a drug.
 
The breakthrough has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
 
An effective human treatment delivered by nasal spray or pill is thought to be at least a decade away, but scientists have had success in treating streptococcal infections in mice.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid