Research Assistant, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Developing bacterial active structural analogues from commomn triterpenoid
Bacterial infections are common all over the world and treat them with available antibiotics. But misuse and prolong use of them, create antibiotic resistance bacteria which are resistant to available antibiotics and make critical issues including death. So scientists are continuously searching new drugs to combat with these resistance bacteria. In this process attention towards natural product drug discovery has increased due to huge structural diversity, bio availability and less side effects. Natural product drugs are three types (direct Natural product, Semi synthetic-modified- natural products and total synthesis drugs based on natural origin). Among these three semi synthetic/modified natural products are in higher priority due to less metabolic complexity, low cost and less side effects etc. My research objective is to develop new potential antibacterial lead compound which can be combat with bacteria which has develop resistance against the currently available antibiotics, by modifying a naturally isolated compound. Compound that I'm interesting in this research is a triterpenoid which can be easily isolated from one of endemic plant in Sri Lanka and it is structurally related to the betulinic acid - well know triterpenoid - which shows several bio activities including antibacterial activity. In addition one of senior student in our research group has identified the antibacterial activity in this compound against Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin (standard antibiotic) resistant type of Staphylococcus aureus. Therefore, this would be a potential natural scaffold to achieve promising improvements in anti-bacterial activity and thus library synthesis and activity screening would be a good approach to find out novel antibiotic lead compound.