Research news

A Major Success for Slovenian Researchers in the Fight against Multiresistant Bacteria

Heads of the three institutions working on the project (from left to right): Professor Hrvoje Petković, PhD, from the Department of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Safety at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, Professor Rolf Muller, PhD, Director of the HIPS Institute (Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Institute Helmholtz from Germany) and Enej Kuščer, PhD, Business Manager of Acies Bio.

Publish Date: 11.03.2015

Researchers from the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana and the Ljubljana company Acies Bio d.o.o. have developed a new generation antibiotic for multiresistant bacteria.

Due to the increasing resistance to antibiotics, the shortage of antimicrobials represents a major problem in healing bacterial infections today. The most critical is healing severe hospital-acquired infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a frequent cause of infection of post-surgery wounds and burns, pneumonia, sepsis and lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis that often end in death.

Using new genetic engineering procedures, researchers from the Department of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Food Safety at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana in collaboration with Acies Bio d.o.o. (Ljubljana) have produced the antibiotic carboxamido chelocardin. The antibiotic, an atypical tetracycline, stands out for its incredible activity against a range of pathogens. Particularly important is its activity against the bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections resistant to numerous antibiotics used in the healing of severe infections today. Under joint authorship with members of an international consortium, the Slovenian researchers presented their work in the renowned scientific journal Angewandte Chemie.

Title of the publication:  Construction of a New Class of Tetracycline Lead Structures with Potent Antibacterial Activity Through Biosynthetic Engineering

Authors: Urška Lešnik, Tadeja Lukežič, Ajda Podgoršek, Jaka Horvat, Tomaž Polak, Martin Šala, Branko Jenko, Kirsten Harmrolfs, Alain Ocampo-Sosa, Luis Martinez-Martinez, Paul R. Herron, Štefan Fujs, Gregor Kosec, Iain S. Hunter, Rolf Muller and Hrvoje Petković

Link to the publication: 

Additional information on the research team and the publication

Professor Hrvoje Petkovič, PhD
tel.: +386 (0)40 488498

Photos: Acies Bio d.o.o.

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