The last line defence against disease-causing bacteria has finally evolved to it’s 3.0 version! It is known that Vancomycin-1.0 has been popular since 1958 with its use towards combating threatening infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. However, the tremendous rise of resistant bacteria has benumb its effectiveness. This triggered scientists to engineer a more potent version of the drug which is known as Vancomycin-2.0. Now, the newest version of this drug has finally been created! Vancomycin-3.0 has unique three-pronged approach to kill bacteria! This gives medical experts a puissant weapon in fighting drug-resistant bacteria.
The mechanism of action of Vancomycin is forestalling bacteria from building cell walls. Basically, it binds to wall-building protein fragments that is called peptides. Particularly, those that end with duplicate copies of amino acid D-alanine (D-ala). Nevertheless, bacteria evolved! A lot have been replacing one D-ala with D-lactic acid (D-lac). Hence, greatly reducing vancomycin’s ability to bind to its binding site. That scary resistance has already spread in this modern time resulting to severe infections like vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).
To bring light with this problem, researchers led by Dale Boger, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, started synthesizing a new version of vancomycin that can bind to both D-ala and D-lac. Another group of scientists also discovered another way of killing bacteria using vancomycin. One is by causing outer wall membrane to leak, leading to cell death and another is by stopping cell wall construction.
Boger and his team have finally come up with the new version of Vancomycin that exhibits all the three actions! The new vancomycin analog is at least 25,000 time more potent against microbes like VRSA & VRE! Upon trial to Vancomycin-resistant bacteria, the microbes were not able to evolve resistance even after 50 rounds. This suggests that it mat be greatly more durable than other antibiotics.