Since Their First Introduction To Clinical Use In 1940S,

1118 WordsMar 10, 20175 Pages
Since their first introduction to clinical use in 1940s, antibiotics have become an essential element in modern medicine. Diseases that would have inevitably lead to death now only take a few weeks of treatment to cure. Broad use of antibiotics have tremendously improved chances of survival in surgery, cancer treatment and other deadly pandemics. As antibiotics are continually produced commercially and applied in healthcare and agriculture, a problem arise: Antibiotics resistance. It has been gradually increasing and is becoming a great threat to human health worldwide. A WHO report on antimicrobial resistance published in 2014 suggested that two key antibiotics, fluoroquinolones and…show more content…
Genetic approach made by Brady and his team in 2015 showed another effective way of screening for antimicrobial compounds from natural environment. By extracting DNA materials from soil sample and search for known gene cluster using different primers, they can screen for comparable sequences that potentially encode variants of existing antibiotics. Despite the complexity of metagenomes present in soil samples and great diversity of chemical structures produced by microorganism populations, most of clinically useful bacterial secondary metabolites are produced through common biosynthetic pathways. Enzymes used in these biosynthetic themes are well conserved and thus allow for development of degenerate primers that will target gene clusters involved in the pathways. While this approach can provide future guidelines for future discovery of antibiotics, much effort is required to analyze the enormous amount of data generated. Three days after this approach was published, Kim Lewis and her team from the University of Boston published results using another approach that also stems from the idea of exploiting soil microorganism. They have developed iChip, a device that allows culturing of soil microorganisms directly in their natural habitat (Ling et al. 455-459). After soil sample is diluted to delivery approximately one bacteria cell to each channel of the device, it was put back into the soil. As the device has semi-permeable
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