New superbug-killing antibiotic discovered using AI
Researchers have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify a new antibiotic that can kill a type of bacteria that is responsible for many drug-resistant infections. The drug, if developed for use in patients, could help combat Acinetobacter baumannii – a species of bacteria that is often found in hospitals and can cause pneumonia, meningitis and other serious infections.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and McMaster University identified the new drug from a library of nearly 7,000 potential drug compounds using a machine-learning model, which they trained to evaluate whether the chemical compound might be effective against A. Will prevent the development of Baumani.
James Collins, term professor of medical engineering and science in MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) and Department of Biological Engineering, said: “This finding further supports the premise that AI can significantly accelerate our search for novel antibiotics.” and can expand.
“I’m excited that this work shows we can use AI to help tackle problematic pathogens like A. baumannii.”
Jonathan Stokes, a former MIT postdoc who is now assistant professor of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University, said: “Acinetobacter can survive on hospital doors and equipment for long periods of time, and it can acquire antibiotic resistance genes from its environment. can take.
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“It’s really common now to find A. baumannii isolates that are resistant to almost every antibiotic.”
The results of the research have been published in Nature Chemical Biology.
Scientists are working to optimize the compound’s pharmacological properties, in hopes of developing it for eventual use in patients.
The researchers also plan to use their modeling approach to identify potential antibiotics for other types of drug-resistant infections.