New compound shows potency against anthrax

Willian Fenical and a team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego announced on Wednesday they have discovered a new chemical compound that shows promising potency against anthrax.

The chemical compound, known as anthracimycin, comes from a microorganism found in the ocean. The microorganism was first discovered in 2012 off the cost of Santa Barbara, California and has the potential to one day set the stage for new treatments for anthrax and other aliments like Staphylococcus aureus.

"The real importance of this work is the fact that anthracimycin has a new and unique chemical structure," Fenical, said. "The discovery of truly new antibiotic compounds is quite rare. This discovery adds to many previous discoveries that show that marine bacteria are genetically and chemically unique."

The team used an analytical technique known as spectroscopy to uncover the odd structure of a molecule found in the microorganism called Streptomyces. The initial testing of this molecule in the compound showed that it was a potent killer of anthrax.

The results were published in the international edition of the German journal Angewandte Chemie. The National Institutes of Health and the Transformational Medical Technologies program of the Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency funded and supported the team and its research

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National Institutes of Health

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