It has been revealed that there is a new antifungal molecule that kills fungi with zero harm exercised on human cells. The study was conducted on mice as well.
Antifungal molecule kills fungi with no toxicity for healthy human cells
Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have developed a new antifungal molecule that has the potential to effectively treat fungal infections without causing the toxicity associated with the commonly used antifungal drug, Amphotericin B. The team tweaked the structure of Amphotericin B, which is known for its ability to kill fungi but is reserved for use as a last resort due to its harmful effects on the kidneys.
The new molecule preserves the potency of Amphotericin B while reducing its toxicity, offering a promising solution to combat fungal infections. The study has been published in the journal Nature.
“Fungal infections are a public health crisis that is only getting worse. And they have the potential, unfortunately, of breaking out and having an exponential impact, kind of like COVID-19 did. So let’s take one of the powerful tools that nature developed to combat fungi and turn it into a powerful ally,” said research leader Dr. Martin D. Burke.
He is an Illinois professor of chemistry, a professor in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine and also a medical doctor.
“This work is a demonstration that, by going deep into the fundamental science, you can take a billion-year head start from nature and turn it into something that hopefully is going to have a big impact on human health,” Burke said.
Burke’s group developed a derivative of AmB that can eliminate fungi without harming humans.
They tested the most promising derivatives through in vitro assays, cell cultures and live mice, and identified AM-2-19 as the most effective molecule.
“This molecule is kidney-sparing, it is resistance evasive and it has broad spectrum efficacy,” said postdoctoral researcher Arun Maji, a co-first author of the paper.
“We tested this molecule against over 500 different clinically relevant pathogen species in four different locations. And this molecule completely surprised us by either mimicking or surpassing the efficacy of current clinically available antifungal drugs.”
You can check out the complete report in order to learn more details about the matter.