The scientists, led by Fellow Emeritus in Trinity's School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Professor Martin Caffrey, used next-gen X-ray crystallography techniques to 'look under the bacterial bonnet' and produce a molecular blueprint that may be used to design drugs that minimise off-target effects and attack any structural weaknesses.
The research, which shows that one key enzyme used in the common bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli is remarkably similar in structure in both species, has recently been published in leading international journal Nature Communications. These two bacteria opportunistically infect people, and can cause fatalities.
Professor - Caffrey - Blueprints - Bacteria - Differ
Professor Caffrey said: "The structural blueprints of the two bacteria -- while very similar -- differ in their fine detail. These subtle differences might be exploited to design species-specific therapies with a reduced likelihood for the development of antibiotic resistance."
Both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli are medically important, causing problems in tens of thousands of patients every year. Both are known to have developed resistance to a plethora of first-choice drugs used to treat them. And with antimicrobial resistance on the rise in general, the World Health Organization has advised that a post-antibiotic era, in which minor injuries and...
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