Two teams of scientists report they have identified new targets in bacterial pathogens that might facilitate the development of novel drugs active against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
One team, in Japan, discovered a novel genetic pathway that some bacteria, including Chlamydia and Helicobacter pylori, use to synthesize a molecule called menaquinone they need to survive (Hiratsuka T et al. Science. 2008;321:1670-1673). Because human cells and intestinal bacteria lack this pathway, it might be possible to develop new drugs that specifically target these pathogens.
Stephenson J. New Targets for Antibiotics. JAMA. 2008;300(15):1752. doi:10.1001/jama.300.15.1752-a