Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Scientific result | Antibiotics
How can new therapeutic strategies for
antibiotic-resistant bacteria be found? A team from the IBS is
developing a means for investigation through the in vitro fabrication of
the Pneumococcus wall. This is a method with which to develop and test
Bacteria evolve and develop tricks to evade antibiotics.
Scientists use several strategies to understand these bacterial escape
mechanisms in detail and combat them. One such strategy is the in
vitro synthesis of the bacterial element targeted by drugs,
peptidoglycan: this is the main component of the bacterial cell wall and
a target of penicillin class antibiotics.
“This is the first time we succeed
at synthesizing the wall of Gram+ bacteria, which includes Pneumococcus and
Staphylococcus, two major human pathogens”, explains André Zapun and Thierry
Vernet. “After lengthy studies, comparable to a real police investigation, we
found the adequate in vitro reaction conditions for producing peptidoglycan.
This is only the beginning”, continue the biologists. “But we have passed a step
that was until now very limiting. The peptidoglycan ‘recipe’ will be used to
dissect the mechanisms of peptidoglycan synthesis, a prerequisite for the
development of new drugs that are effective against bacteria resistant to
current antibiotics. This opens the door to years of promising research!”
In vitro reconstitution of peptidoglycan assembly from the Gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.