Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria

An antibiotic called thanatin attacks the way the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is built. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found out that this happens through a previously unknown mechanism. Thanatin, produced naturally by the spined soldier bug, can therefore be used to develop new classes of antibiotics.

The research is being carried out by SPWS members Dr. Gabriella Pessi and Prof. Leo Eberl with their teams at the University of Zurich, and in collaboration with other scientists.

Reference publication
Stefan U. Vetterli, Katja Zerbe, Maik Müller, Matthias Urfer, Milon Mondal, Shuang-Yan Wang, Kerstin Moehle, Oliver Zerbe, Alessandra Vitale, Gabriella Pessi, Leo Eberl, Bernd Wollscheid, and John A. Robinson. Science Advances, 2018, 16 November. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau2634

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