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Scientists Use Supercomputer to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance


Acinetobacter baumanii

The researchers' best candidate showed activity against Acinetobacter baumanii, shown, and other bacteria where existing antibiotics don't work.

Scientists used one of the top supercomputers in Europe to keep pace with the impressive ability of diseases to evolve.

The international team, co-led by computational chemist Gerhard Koenig at the University of Portsmouth, tackled the problem of antibiotic resistance by redesigning existing antibiotics to overcome bacterial resistance mechanisms. The researchers used a multi-pronged computer-guided strategy to make a new antibiotic from an existing one which bacteria have outwitted.

The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health," Koenig said. "It's only a matter of time until bacteria develop counterstrategies against our counterstrategies and become resistant to the new antibiotic, so we will have to keep on studying bacterial resistance mechanisms and develop new derivatives accordingly."

From University of Portsmouth
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