Resistance isn't futile

Rarely a week goes by when there is some pronouncement regarding our doom sealed in antibiotic resistance. As the focus sharpens on novel molecular structures, new classes emerge but only rarely do they seem to be on target. Now, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA and Nosopharm, a biotechnology company based in Lyon, France, have discovered the odilorhabdins. These compounds have a peculiar origin - they are made by symbiotic bacteria found in soil-dwelling nematode worms that colonize insects for food. The bacteria synthesize these compounds to ward off an invasion by bacteria that would be pathogenic to their fellow symbiont, the nematode worms. The compounds target the pathogenic bacterial ribosome, offering hope of it being almost impossible for bacteria to evolve resistance. Much work now needs to be done to study these compounds and their activity against bacteria pathogenic to humans before clinical tests can be initiated.