WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

NIAID grantees discover antibiotic against TB

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases supported researchers who recently discovered a way to modify the forms of an established antibiotic to effectively fight against tuberculosis bacteria.

Richard Lee of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Anne Leneartes of Colorado State University, Fort Collines, led the study.

Lee and Lenaertes used test tube experiments to synthesize modified forms of spectinomycin, an antibiotic. The modified forms, called spectinamides, were made to target TB bacteria and bacteria closely related to TB.

The spectinamides showed activity against multidrug-resistant TB and extensively drug-resistant TB, while not harming mammalian cells. Researchers believe spectinamides may be a way to fight TB without killing healthy bacteria in the gut.

The research was published online this week and was funded by the NIAID. The NIAID both supports and conducts research to observe infectious diseases and disease which compromise the immune system. The NIAID seeks to improve the prevention and treatment of these diseases.

The NIH is the U.S. medical research agency. It supports 27 Institutes of Centers and is focused on conduct and supporting medical research for a breadth of diseases. The NIH is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.