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Drug development – the key to tackling antimicrobial resistance

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The development of new drugs will be key in tackling growing antimicrobial resistance. Could the natural world provide new drug candidates?

Drug development is a key research area in pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences, that follows the transformation of a compound from a potential drug candidate to a product approved for marketing by the regulatory bodies. 

Although new technology allows scientists to create new molecules using computers, plants, fungi and marine animals are still popular sources for natural molecules and compounds that can form the basis of new drugs. The following research  from Advances in Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences showcases the recent research in drug development based on natural compounds, such as how extracts from Streblus asper leaves could reduce inflammation and how a complex sugar from seaweed is used to enhance drug delivery

Another key area of drug development is finding solutions to antimicrobial resistance. Germs that have developed antimicrobial resistance cannot be defeated by the drugs previously designed to kill them, leading to resistant infections. Articles published in International Journal of Microbiology investigate possible solutions such as bacteriocins (antibiotics produced by bacteria themselves) and actinomycetes from soils in Nepal

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  • 'Antilipoxygenase and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of Streblus asper Leaf Extract on Xylene-Induced Ear Edema in Mice'
    For centuries, people living in East Asia have believed that the tree Streblus asper offers indispensable health benefits. Scientists are now beginning to research and verify these benefits. Extracts from the tree’s leaves were found to reduce ear inflammation in mice by inhibiting the enzyme lipoxygenase. While more work is needed, the findings pave the way for natural therapies for inflammation.
  • 'Current Status of Alginate in Drug Delivery'
    Alginate, a complex sugar derived from seaweed, is showing promise as a medical material. Nontoxic and soluble in the body, alginate can be shaped into microparticles, loaded with medicine, and injected, inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin. This article highlights the latest advancements in using alginate for drug delivery and serves as a reference for future research in the field.
  • 'Efficacy of Levofloxacin Loaded Nonionic Surfactant Vesicles (Niosomes) in a Model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infected Sprague Dawley Rats'
    Niosomes are microscopic particles that could help make drugs more powerful. A recent study showed that rats infected with highly drug-resistant bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) showed greater improvements when treated with niosomes filled with the antibiotic levofloxacin versus levofloxacin alone. Effective and well-tolerated, such niosomes have the potential to excel where standalone drugs fall short.
  • 'Current Applications of Bacteriocin
    Overuse of antibiotics is giving rise to deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria. One solution could lie in bacteriocins—antibiotics produced by bacteria themselves. With a killing mechanism unlike that of conventional antibiotics, uses for bacteriocins are being discovered in everything from food preservation and agriculture to skincare and anticancer therapy. The search is on for new bacteriocins and new methods of ramping up their production.
  • 'Isolation, Characterization, and Screening of Antimicrobial-Producing Actinomycetes from Soil Samples
    The uniquely diverse climate and terrain of Nepal make it an abundant and untapped source of antibiotic-producing soil microbes. A recent study of actinomycetes from soil samples collected from different locations in Nepal identified 19 actinomycete bacteria with antibiotic-producing capabilities. Of these, 7 showed broad-spectrum activity against other bacteria known to cause infection in humans, highlighting their potential in the development of new antibiotic drugs.

(Lay summaries by Research Square)

This blog post is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Illustration adapted from Adobe Stock by David Jury.

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