New molecule promises to address drug resistance

  1. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science(IISc),Bangalore have designed an antimicrobial protein called Omega 76.
  2. This protein promises to kill multidrug-resistant bacterium called Acinetobacter baumannii.
  3. The bacterium is among those responsible for most of the infections in hospitals and other healthcare settings and is fast becoming resistant to available antibiotics.
  4. The protein was developed using bioinformatics approach.Experiments have shown that it killed the bacterium by breaking down its cell membrane.
  5. Usually,conventional drugs act by blocking specific pathways or processes in bacterial cells but bacteria evolve to gain resistance against such drugs.
  6. In recent times,a class of chemical molecules called antimicrobial peptides has emerged as an alternative.They promise to kill bacteria by breaking down their membranes.The new molecule belongs to this group.
  7. Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data.Bioinformatics has been used for analyses of biological queries using mathematical and statistical techniques.