Book Chapter

History, Chemistry and Antibacterial Spectrum

Tony Velkov, Philip E Thompson, Mohammad AK Azad, Kade D Roberts, Phillip J Bergen

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | SPRINGER INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHING AG | Published : 2019

Abstract

Polymyxins are naturally occurring cyclic lipopeptides that were discovered more than 60 years ago. They have a narrow antibacterial spectrum, which is mainly against Gram-negative pathogens. The dry antibiotic pipeline, together with the increasing incidence of bacterial resistance in the clinic, has been dubbed 'the perfect storm'. This has forced a re-evaluation of 'old' antibiotics, in particular the polymyxins, which retain activity against many multidrug-resistant (MDR) Gram-negative organisms. As a consequence, polymyxin B and colistin (polymyxin E) are now used as the last therapeutic option for infections caused by 'superbugs' such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii,..

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University of Melbourne Researchers