Russian researchers find way to combat antibiotic resistance

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Researchers from Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have proposed blocking bacterial antibiotic resistance by using small proteins called peptide inhibits (blocking agents).

Together with the Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre, researchers at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University have created a peptide, which is harmless to humans and capable of inhibiting the key catalyst of the SOS-response in bacteria. Results from research conducted under grants from the Russian Science Foundation were published in the Nucleic Acids Research journal. 

“The bacteria mutate and develop new properties that help them resist antibiotics, while our agent blocks the process of adaptation at a genetic level, blocking the accelerated evolution of bacteria,” said Alexander Yakimov, a researcher at the Nanobiotechnology Research and Innovation Center at Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University.

Yakimov reported that they also came up with a computational method for designing unique peptides with the maximum possible stability and biologically active spatial structure.

The number of newly developed antibiotics in recent years has gradually decreased, while their effectiveness continues to decline. 

“Other countries are also conducting research to find ways to combat bacterial antibiotic resistance, but they have not been able to yield any positive results yet,” Yakimov said. 

Recently the Russian government published a strategy on combating antibiotic resistance in Russia for the period up to 2030. The strategy provides for analysing the mechanisms for developing bacterial antibiotic resistance, systematic monitoring of its spread, improving measures to prevent and to limit the spread of pathogens with antibiotic resistance, developing antimicrobial drugs and alternative methods of diagnostic and treatment of infectious diseases.

It is expected that the invention of Russian researchers will make the prevention and treatment of infectious and parasitic diseases of humans, animals and plants more effective, and reduce the severity of diseases, as well as the duration of their treatment.

At this stage, researchers have already proved the effectiveness of their method and obtained a patent entitled Family of Peptides – Inhibitors of the Activity of RecA Protein Blocking the SOS-Response in Bacteria. - Sputnik

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