Tigecycline, newly-approved by the US FDA, is the first drug to roll out of a new class of antibiotics called glycylcyclines.
In hospitals worldwide, one of the most difficult problems encountered by doctors are infections caused by bacteria which are resistant to conventional antibiotics. The obvious results are lengthened hospital stay, more expenses, and added harm to the patient's condition.The US FDA has approved Tygacil® (tigecycline), a novel IV antibiotic with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, including activity against the drug-resistant bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Tygacil is indicated for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections (cIAI) and complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) in adults. Approval of this first-in-class product comes at a time when the need for new antibiotic options to combat serious, resistant infections is increasing.
[Medical News Today, UK - Jun 17, 2005]
What makes Tigecycline tougher than other antibiotics?
As I've mentioned, Tigecycline comes from glycylcyclines, which are a new class of antibiotics derived from tetracyclines. This new class of antibiotics kills harmful bacteria by attacking its ribosomes, the part of the bacteria responsible for synthesizing proteins.
Over the years, bacteria has become resistant by mutation, and are able to counter most antibiotics' mode of action either by flushing them out of the cell, or by shaking them off the ribosomes. The whiz minds over at Wyeth were able to modify tetracycline's structure by adding a little tail of glyco-amino acids to its molecular structure and come up with our new "tiger-antibiotic."
Great news, so far. My only fear is that bacteria will surely not stop mutating to counter this new antibiotic. But we have a good break here --- for now --- and short as the time may be before the next mutation happens, we now have a better fighting chance against these microbes.