Discovery of antimicrobials active against Clostridium difficile from actinomycete gene clusters
School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is recognised as one of the major threats to human health, and is currently believed to be the cause for at least 50,000 deaths each year across Europe and the US alone. Due to AMR, it is estimated that global consumption of antibiotics in human medicine has increased by 40% between 2000 and 2010. It is clear that without appropriate and effective antibiotics, the outcome of surgery and chemotherapy are at serious risk.
This project, designed by Dr Fabrizio Alberti, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick aims at characterising novel antimicrobial compounds, which could lead to development of new antibiotics, tackling the growing problem of AMR. Identifying such bioactive compounds is by screening for antimicrobial activity in selected gene clusters from different actinomycete bacteria, which are the source of more than 70% of known antibiotics. Gene clusters will be tested against a range of antimicrobial resistant bacterial strains, primarily of the species Clostridium difficile, which is one of the most common causes of infection acquired in hospitals. Hospital patients will benefit as new antibiotics could help treat bacterial infections caused by antimicrobial resistant strains.