Since humans began to develop antibiotics in the 1940s, strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have developed along with them. Prior to 1962, scientists developed over 20 new classes of antibiotics; since then, they’ve developed a mere two. In short, bacteria are winning the war we’ve waged against them. Kim Lewis and a team of biologists from Northeastern University have identified a new antibiotic called teixobactin. What’s so unique about teixobactin is that it appears resistant to resistance. Its potency led scientists to initially believe it to be too toxic for use in the human body. But when tested on mice, it proved safe and non-toxic for mammals, yet powerful against bacteria.
Unfortunately, teixobactin’s biological magic won’t work on every bacterium. And most of the strains that develop resistance to antibiotics come from the compound themselves. This means that, eventually, strains will develop resistance to teixobactin, too. However, the tool which was used to discover the compound, the iChip, will buy scientists time to discover more antibiotic compounds.