Pinhead-sized worm may help develop new antibiotics

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Washington, Aug 6 (ANI): A pinhead-sized worm can help in discovering and testing new antibiotics as the existing ones lose their effectiveness against drug-resistant bacteria, say researchers.

Lead researcher Frederick Ausubel and colleagues have revealed that existing methods for identifying germ-fighting drugs involve adding the potential drug to cultures of bacteria or cells and watching the results.

However, these tests sometimes do not work well.

The scientists describe successful use of such a whole-animal high throughput screening test - automated with a robot - to test the effects of 37,000 potential drugs on C. elegans (a type of worm) infected with E. faecalis (a type of bacteria).

That bacterium causes life-threatening infections in humans. C. elegans are tiny nematode worms that are widely used in scientific research.

The tests identified 28 potential new drugs never before reported to have germ-fighting effects.

Some of the potential new drugs worked in ways that appeared to be totally different than existing antibiotics.

The study appears in ACS Chemical Biology, a monthly journal. (ANI)

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