Researchers are taking a phoenixlike approach in developing new antibiotics that self-destruct or regenerate as a way of combating growing problems with drug resistance.
One of the drugs is a modified aminoglycoside antibiotic. Normally, the drug is inactivated when bacteria attach an inhibitory group to its chemical structure. The modified version accepts the inhibitory group but then detaches it a short time later. In effect, the drug regenerates its active form to remain effective in fighting bacteria and to discourage the development of bacterial resistance enzymes. "The common mechanism of resistance is not effective against this drug," said Shahriar Mobashery, PhD, professor of chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit. A report on the research appeared December 22, 1999, in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Voelker R. Fighting Antibiotic Resistance. JAMA. 2000;283(4):470. doi:10.1001/jama.283.4.470-JQU90012-3-1