Innovative antimicrobial agents.
The market size for antimicrobial agents generated sales of $42 billion USD in 2009 globally, representing 5% of the global pharmaceutical market. However, the global emergence of resistance to antimicrobial agents is increasingly limiting the effectiveness of current drugs. Novel, efficient and non-resistance-inducing antimicrobial/antibacterial agents are therefore in urgent need. The present technology introduces a novel algorithm to sift through microbial genomes and identify genes with potential toxicity to bacteria. These genes serve as attractive candidates to possess antimicrobial properties.
· Direct antibiotics for human and veterinary medicine.
· Growth enhancers in livestock.
· Crop management
· Food preservatives.
· The technology takes advantage of a hitherto unappreciated source of genes with toxic function in bacteria and represents a biotechnological ?goldmine? for innovative lead compounds.
· A vast collection of toxic genes allows for the identification of lead compounds with diverse antimicrobial properties.
· Any introduction of newly sequenced microbial genomes will enhance the dataset with novel potential lead compounds.
Bacteria often generate genome-encoded anti-microbial peptides as a part of an ?arms race? with competing bacteria. However, detection of such peptides is a challenging task as they evolve very fast and cannot be recognized using standard homology-based algorithms. The present invention describes a novel algorithm that scans a microbial genome and detects specific genes that kill E. coli if cloned into it. The algorithm identify genes and intergenic regions that fail to propagate in E. coli in the process of whole genome shotgun sequencing, thus creating sequencing gaps. These gaps, once considered a technical obstacle, actually contain extensive information on thousands of genes toxic to bacteria.