Despite advancements in many areas of human medicine, infectious disease continues to be a major cause of mortality worldwide. Improper and excessive use of antibacterial compounds has led to the rise of resistant species of bacteria like Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE), and Extreme Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB). We have discovered a potential new class of antibiotics that inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria. Upon discovery of inhibition against S. aureus and other Gram-positive bacteria, MRSA, VRE, and other resistant strains were tested. Inhibition by the newly developed compounds on the resistant strains was identical to their inhibition levels against non-resistant strains of these species. We have continued to synthesize and test chemical derivatives of our lead compound in an effort to increase their effectiveness. Overall, these results demonstrate that our carboxylic amide compounds are a novel, non-penicillin based antibiotic that could be used to treat MRSA and other Gram-positive infections.
Faculty Mentor: Roderick Morgan, Biology