The new antibiotics target the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, which is commonly found on the skin and nose. The antibiotic resistant strains of staph are commonly known as MRSA, short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
The potential new antibiotics are unlike contemporary antibiotics because they contain iridium, a silvery-white transition metal. New transition metal complexes do not easily breakdown, which is important for delivery of antibiotics to where they are needed to fight infections in the body.
Even though these compounds contain iridium, further testing by the researchers shows that they are nontoxic to animals and animal cells. Thus, they are likely safe for use in humans, according to the researchers. The discovery was published in Medicinal Chemistry Communications.