A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance

Losee L. Ling, et al., A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance, Nature 2015

We developed a new antibiotic that to grow uncultured organisms by cultivation in situ or by using specific growth factors. Here we report a new antibiotic that we term teixobactin, discovered in a screen of uncultured bacteria. Teixobactin inhibits cell wall synthesis by binding to a highly conserved motif of lipid II (precursor of peptidoglycan) and lipid III (precursor of cell wall teichoic acid). We did not obtain any mutants of Staphylococcus aureus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to teixobactin. The properties of this compound suggest a path towards developing antibiotics that are likely to avoid development of resistance.

Teixobactin had excellent activity against Gram-positive pathogens, including drug-resistant strains.

Teixobactin was ineffective against most Gram-negative bacteria, but showed good activity against a strain of E. coli asmB1 with a defective outer membrane permeability barrier.

The producer is a Gram-negative bacterium, and its outer membrane will protect it from re-entry of the compound.

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