LONDON — A fungal compound has been identified by a team of Chinese researchers as a promising antibiotic candidate, as they presented an approach that can efficiently obtain it the lab, said a study recently published in the journal Nature Communication.
Health organizations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics. Because the overuse of antibiotics in recent years means they’re becoming less effective and has led to the emergence of “superbugs” — strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to many different types of antibiotics. Meanwhile researchers are working hard to find new antibiotics.
A team, led by researchers at China’s Chongqing University, has developed a technique to synthesize albomycins, a group of fungal compounds that have previously shown antimicrobial properties. The authors were able to obtain the substances in large enough amounts to allow them to test their antibiotic activity.
One substance performed well in a test against a variety of bacterial strains. Notably, it outperformed several established antibiotics.
“The method we use can efficiently and conveniently synthesize albomycins substances, and initial animal lab test has demonstrated that these substances are safe, but we will continue our research on its safety,” lead author of the study Yun He from the Chongqing University told Xinhua.
Further tests are needed to see whether the substance is safe and effective to use as a drug against bacterial infections, according to the team.