World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2022
The annual World Antimicrobial Awareness Week from 18 to 24 November focuses on the problems of handling antibiotics, the development of resistance and the production of new active substances. The motto of the 2022 action week is "Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together" and focuses on the prudent use of antimicrobial agents, increased preventive measures to combat antibiotic resistance and cooperation within the framework of the One Health approach.
Cooperation across research groups, locations and disciplines is also important for antibiotic research at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research. For example, antibiotic researchers at the Braunschweig campus work closely with colleagues at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) in Saarbrücken.
The researchers in Prof Rolf Müller's department “Microbial Natural Products” at HIPS specialise in the discovery of antimicrobial agents from soil bacteria. They isolate drug candidates and solve their structure and mechanism of action. Prof Marc Stadler's department “Microbial Drugs” can produce natural products in large quantities. The production capacities in the Biotechnikum fermentation facility are unique in Europe for research institutions. The department is also looking for new natural substances from soil bacteria and fungi. In this video, the researchers explain their collaboration on a promising drug candidate against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and malaria parasites.
- How do researchers at the HZI and HIPS develop antibiotic candidates from natural products?
Antibiotics should only act specifically against bacteria and not affect host cells. Researchers from the department “Drug Design and Optimisation” at HIPS are developing such an inhibitor together with the department “Chemical Biology” headed by Prof Mark Brönstrup and the PK-PD unit of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF). Their drug candidate targets a component of the bacterial DNA polymerase and thus provides a basis for killing bacteria in a targeted manner. In this video, you can see how they are proceeding and which preclinical tests they perform.
- How do researchers at the HZI and HIPS develop a new antibiotic?
Author: Charlotte Schwenner
Published: November 2022
To the present day, antibiotics are among the most effective weapons available for fighting bacterial infections. They are one of the most important medical discoveries of modern times and have saved innumerable human lives. [read more]