The “culprit” causing bacterial resistance to peptide antibiotics enabling spread of superbugs has been identified by researchers at the University of Science and Technology. Peptide antibiotics are seen as the last line of defence against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Identification of the “culprit” by Professor Qian Pei-yuan, head of the Life Sciences Division, and his team opens up a new direction for drug development to tackle superbugs. The university warns it also sounds an alarm against widespread improper use of antibiotics.
Prof Qian’s researchers analysed more than 6000 bacteria genomes with gene editing and chemical and enzymatic analysis. They found the “culprit” is a family of DRPs (D-sterospecific resistance peptidases). It is a problem of considerable magnitude, the university warns. “…Humans increasing misuse of antibiotics (means) more and more peptide antibiotics would be rendered useless, leading to delay or even failure of treatment.”