These substances work differently from standard antibiotics. Conventional antibacterial agents act on the membranes of bacterial cells, which, during the mutation process, become accustomed and become immune to active substances. As a consequence, antibiotic therapy can be canceled out in the treatment of severe bacterial infections.
New peptides – sets of amino acids – consist of two active parts: the first is a conductor for acting molecules, the second is the actual molecules that create protein deposits inside bacterial cells – molecules of proteins and peptides sticking to each other, filling cells and pushing them to death.
These antibacterial peptides are based on ribosomal proteins that are part of ribosomes – complex molecular complexes that perform protein synthesis. They were tested on a drug-resistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which most antibiotics cannot cope with. The peptides have shown the same efficacy as the antibiotic gentamicin, which has potential antipseudomonal activity.
At the same time, the new peptides do not react in any way to animal cells. Scientists hope that in animal experiments as well as in clinical trials, these substances will demonstrate the necessary efficacy and safety.