An antibiotic isolated from tree bark suppressed the growth of even drug-resistant bacteria

(ORDO NEWS) — Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria is one of the biggest public health threats in the world. Scientists are constantly looking for new antibiotics that can cope with resistant microorganisms. And this time they found it in the tree bark.

Every year, new strains of bacteria and microorganisms become resistant to antibiotics, making it difficult or impossible to treat many infectious diseases. This results in approximately 35,000 deaths per year.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause diseases such as sepsis, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia. In this regard, there is an urgent need to develop new antimicrobial drugs.

In a new study , scientists from the UK and Thailand have shown that hydroquinine , isolated from the bark of the cinchona tree (this tropical tree, whose bark is known for its antimalarial and antiarrhythmic properties, is bred in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia), can suppress the growth of even those bacteria that have become resistant to other antibiotics.

The target for the new antibiotic was a well-known multi-resistant, that is, resistant to most other antibiotics, strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

It is often found in abscesses and purulent wounds. By adding hydroquinine to the medium with this bacterium, the scientists found that, despite the defense mechanisms triggered by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, more than 50 percent of bacterial cells die after four hours.

In addition to Pseudomonas aeruginosa, hydroquinine successfully suppressed the growth of other multiresistant microorganisms: Staphylococcus aureus , Friedlander’s bacillus , Escherichia coli and cloacal enterobacteria .

Now scientists have to do more research to identify possible side effects of hydroquinine and to clarify how it affects bacterial cells. If the expectations associated with this substance are justified, hydroquinine may become part of new effective antibiotics.


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