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Video created by Tsiga Solomon and Craig Seymour for the UVA course from Lab bench to Medicine Cabinet (CHEM 4430).

Antibiotics are drugs that are designed to treat various infectious diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis which are caused by bacteria these drugs work by killing the bacteria that causes the infectious disease through various means the concerning issue with antibiotics in recent decades is the ability of infectious bacteria to acquire multi-drug resistance

To set of antibiotics there are four ways that bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics the first is drug inactivation or modification meaning that the bacteria produce an enzyme that is able to chemically destroy the antibiotic or render inert the second is alteration of the antibiotics target site for example if they drug targets an enzyme the enzyme could

Mutate in such a way that the antibiotic will no longer work but it will retain its function the third is a change in the bacterias metabolism here bacteria will mutate to use a different set of building blocks to give the same product finally the last way bacteria you can acquire antibiotic resistance is by pumping the drug out of the cell before it gets a chance

To work for instance erythromycin is an antibiotic that stops the growth of bacteria by shutting down bacterial protein production mechanism if a specific strain of bacteria has resistance to the antibiotic erythromycin the bacteria is most likely to be resistant to other antibiotics of the same class and other classes of antibiotics that target bacterial protein

Synthesis thereby acquiring multi-drug resistance in order to overcome the growing challenge of multi-drug resistant bacteria new classes of antibiotics need to be discovered basic laboratory research leads to the discovery of novel compounds that can be used as antibacterial agents before the drug becomes available for the public however years of basic research

In clinical needs to be conducted these research initiatives require federal funding in order to provide the resources needed to conduct research and that would lead to the discovery of new antibiotics what is it that you do here in my laboratory eba is engaged in basic research on two microorganism seal at the factory pylori and legionella pneumophila one causes

Stomach ulcers and the other is causing pneumonia we at the same time have a parallel program going developing new therapeutic agents against many of the the drug-resistant pathogens like staph aureus and clustering difficile and these klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenem assistant and how are you how is your life funded we’re pretty fortunate to be funded well by

The national institutes of health and they’re hopeful maybe in the future to see some private money coming in from industries and sources like that keep us going whatever i grants is a are you a one-gram which is like a multi investigator thematic tiger and that’s what’s covering the entire antibiotic development program through the auspices of bio defense so

Even though you’re trying to seek private money how important does federal funding play in your ability to good research the plays a critical role because it’s it’s antibiotic discovery is very high-risk and very few of venture capitalists or anyone is going to give you money to do something that you have fail at and so the federal government is probably the best

Suited for giving money to what some people laughingly say our loss causes but basically antibiotic discoveries not anymore that big pharma it’s going to be done by universities and small biotech companies and the university is safe because you can publish your failures in industry you’re fired for not making a drug so the the key to developing antibiotic that

Antibiotics that will fight resistant organisms is federal funding and not through the private sector that’s right right and how do you think the current state of federal funding for antibiotics is is it is it poor is it hitting right where it needs to be or can’t be improved on a scale of one to ten it’s probably a two and a half to three it’s as pry the worst

It’s ever been and in the whole structure of federal funding even though the amounts of money there are in the billions of dollars the numbers of research laboratories the number of investigators is the shared dimension of medical research is huge and so it’s the success rate on grants and share and self study sections as i see this is like four or five grants of

A hundred and getting funded maybe 16 of those grants are excellent grants and are the excellent ones sony maybe four or five would being funded so that’s me very very good people we could program so not being funny the other kind of issue with with competition for scarce funding is that all small businesses which includes all biotech companies they’re eligible

To apply for grants and so many biotech companies also compete for scarce resources rather than developing a product from like venture capital research and many us companies may never produce a product but they will continually be funded by the nih for their entire existence and so there’s a very steep competition right now for scarce money and given our i guess

Toolbox of antibiotics how long will this last us against bacteria that we face without any supplementing from research to good reviews in the area and both are depressing because one the pace of drugs multi-drug resistance is in fast and faster and the pace the discovery in bringing to play a new chemical entities as therapeutic agents is at less than a trickle

Coming out of the pipe might be a drop an hour or something instead of a floodgate so it’s a we’re almost in a perfect storm of having nothing to treat infections with these carbapenem is just negatives right now hospitals there’s almost nothing no alternatives retrievers infections and feed out if your immune compromised your or talia stand about 35 or seventies

Yes nothing physicians can do so i have a positive bedside manner it’s not good in conclusion the threat of antibiotic resistance is very real real while measures can be taken to prevent the spread and formation of antibiotic resistant bacteria one of the best steps that can be taken in fighting so-called superbugs is the creation of new antibiotics made possible

By federal funding

Transcribed from video
Erythromycin By Linda Columbus