Novel Antibiotic Discovered By Nigerian Scientist

Dr. Ugochukwu Obiakornobi Anieto, a Nigerian-trained microbiologist and an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Texas A&M (TAMU) has recently discovered a new antibiotic, Anietocin, which can be used to treat antibiotic-resistant microbial infections. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are recently becoming a more widespread phenomena which is endangering the efficiency of antibiotics which have helped cure many illnesses. The resistance crisis has been attributed to the misuse of these medications, as well as the lack of new drug development efforts. This invention presents a new strain of Pseudomonas spp. bacteria that produces antimicrobial compounds effective against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

A previously unknown Pseudomonas strain has been identified and now named “Anieto”, after the TAMU inventor Anieto. The bacterium produces a novel antibiotic compound, named “Anietocin, and has been tested against several bacteria, both Gram positive and Gram negative, for growth inhibition and has so far been effective against all test bacterial species. While resistance to antibiotics is a growing global concern, this antibiotic offers the promise of alleviating the substantial health and economic burden on healthcare systems and population.

Dr. Anieto believes that many pharmaceutical companies can utilise this bacterium to its full potential and maximise its effectiveness to treat patients with bacterial infections. His team of medical practitioners are currently improving the chemical extraction process of this novel antibiotic and understanding the metabolomics of the bacterium to address large scale manufacturing opportunities. There is no resistance to antibiotic observed by targeted bacterial species yet and it provides a broad-spectrum antibiotic potential hunts.

It has many applications including: the treatment of antibiotic resistant microbial infections; surgical and sterile environments; and point of care antibiotic prescription. On the stage of development, the researcher said the product is undergoing laboratory trials on several bacterial species while showing consistent results. On the patent status, Anieto said U.S. patent application is in preparation.

The drug is called “Anietocin”, after his family name, Anieto. He is a native of Umunnachi in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State. Anieto was born and raised in Onitsha, attended Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS) Onitsha and Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka (NAU), Anambra State, where he graduated with a bachelor’s and masters degrees in Applied Microbiology and Food Microbiology. He has many years of research and teaching experience having taught in higher institutions across Nigeria and the United States. His research background is focused on bioenergy, antimicrobial resistance, food microbiology, bioinformatics etc. He joined the College of Science of Texas A&M University McAllen Higher Education Center in August of 2018.

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