Thursday, December 12News That Matters

Editorial: April 2018

     Resistance to antibiotics is a serious global threat to public health, present in every country. World Health Organization highlights the worse clinical outcomes leading to death in patients with infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria. So world is looking for more antibiotic candidate structures or salts to come out of this threat. In same direction Odilorhabdins are invented. They are new class of antibiotics as published in pages 83-94 of volume 70 of Molecular Cell on 5th April. They are produced by Gram-negative bacteria genus Xenorhabdus from the family Enterobacteriaceae. They contain good numbers of non-ribosomal peptide synthetases and polketide synthases genes in their genomes. They enable to produce new bioactive compounds. The genus Xenorhabdus is symbiont to soil-borne nematodes and provides nematodes the power to colonize and kill insects. Antibiotics released by Xenorhabdus also prevent other bacteria and fungi from invasion of the insect’s carcass.
     Odilorhabdins selectively inhibit bacterial growth by interfering with protein synthesis by binding at new site in the small ribosomal unit which was not present with other ribosome inhibitor antibiotics. Dose-dependent mechanism of these is interestingly exposed as at lower concentrations, they induce amino acid mis-incorporation which reduces accuracy of decoding while at higher concentrations, they interfere with the progression of ribosomes along mRNA, an important step for protein synthesis.
     Many other compounds may also disrupt bacterial protein synthesis or they may inhibit the growth of bacteria by various other means viz., by inhibiting cell-wall synthesis, nucleic acid synthesis etc. Many of antimicrobial agents or candidates are used in Ayurveda and other traditional medicines, but researches with reproducibility and transparency are lacking. Even efforts of governmental sectors involved with researches are also more towards paper works. Real researches in Ayurveda have always options for understanding the mechanism of these drugs up to molecular levels practically than just philosophical representations.  

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