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New antibiotic is discovered by Galapagos

Category: Infectious Diseases

The biotechnology company Galapagos recently discovered a new strand of antibiotics that may be effective in combating bacterial infections that were previously resistant to antibiotic treatments, Reuters reported.

The news source noted that the antibiotic works by impeding the growth of bacteria by targeting a specific enzyme. In the study, Galapagos tested the effectiveness of the antibiotic in a drug known as CAM-1. The medication eliminated 250 strains of bacteria that it was tested against.

Galapagos has entered the antibiotics in a clinic to test its effectiveness in treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterial infection that is prominent in hospitals.

"Selection of a candidate antibiotic in our MRSA development program is an important step toward realizing the full potential of our unique anti-bacterial program," said Piet Wigerinck, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Galapagos, as quoted by the news source. "Our antibiotics have a novel mode of action which brings all tested MRSA strains to a complete halt. Combined with a diagnostic test, these compounds could bring a real solution to MRSA infections."

MRSA diagnosis and symptoms
According to the National Institutes of Health, MRSA can be diagnosed by analyzing a sample of blood, spit or urine in a lab test. MRSA infections are usually on the skin but they can be present in the blood or other organs, like the lungs and heart. Symptoms of the condition include chest pain, coughing, fatigue, fever, headache, rash and wounds that don't heal.

Risk factors for contracting MRSA include being on kidney dialysis, being treated for cancer, injecting drugs and having a weak immune system. Certain at-risk groups include members of the military, children enrolled in daycare, athletes who may share towels and people who have recently gotten a tattoo.

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