Artificial intelligence (AI) has been used by researchers to find a novel antibiotic. The antibiotic has the potential to eradicate a dangerous species of superbug. Thousands of possible substances were reduced using AI to a small number that could be evaluated in a lab. Abaucin is a strong experimental antibiotic.

It has been developed as a result of AI and needs to undergo more testing before it can be utilized. Researchers in Canada and the US believe AI has the potential to significantly speed up the discovery of new medications.

AI Drug & Infections

The bacteria can spread genetic information that enables other bacteria to develop antibiotic resistance, according to the WHO, and have the innate ability to find new ways to evade treatment.

Hospitals, nursing homes, patients who need blood catheters and ventilators, as well as those with open wounds from procedures, are at risk from baumannii.

Image source: study finds

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“Using AI, we can rapidly explore vast regions of chemical space. Meanwhile, significantly increasing the chances of discovering fundamentally new antibacterial molecules,” says Dr. Jonathan Stokes, the lead author of the study and a researcher at McMaster University, in a media release.

“We had a whole bunch of data that was just telling us about which chemicals were able to kill a bunch of bacteria and which ones weren’t. My job was to train this model. What this model was going to be doing is telling us essentially if new molecules will have antibacterial properties or not,” said Gary Liu, a graduate student from MacMaster University who worked on the research.

The Next Endemic Agent?

A. baumannii has been added to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) list of “priority pathogens”. They urgently need new therapies because of the high risk bacteria.

Image source: Dnaindia

“AI approaches to drug discovery are here to stay and will continue to be refined,” says co-author professor James Collins, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “We know algorithmic models work. Now it is a matter of widely adopting these methods to discover new antibiotics more efficiently and less expensively.”

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