Volume 92 Issue 38 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: September 22, 2014

Adding Fluorine Helps Ailing Antibiotic

Tests in cell cultures show that a single fluorine helps neomycin outwit drug-resistant bacteria
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Life Sciences
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Organic SCENE
Keywords: fluorine, antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, aminoglycoside, X-ray crystallography, organic chemistry

A strategically placed fluorine today could keep antibiotic resistance at bay. Aminoglycosides are a class of antibiotics that have traditionally been useful against infections in patients with severe burns or cystic fibrosis. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have emerged, however, carrying an arsenal of aminoglycoside-inactivating enzymes. One approach to counter the enzymes has been to remove certain aminoglycoside hydroxyl groups. But that change can make the drugs toxic to the kidneys. Stephen Hanessian and colleagues . . .

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