19 Jul Enzymatic inactivation of the veterinary antibiotic Florfenicol
Large quantities of the antibiotic florfenicol are used in animal farming and aquaculture, contaminating the ecosystem with antibiotic residues and promoting antimicrobial resistance, ultimately leading to untreatable multidrug-resistant pathogens. Marik Müller has devised new strategies for enzymatic inactivation of florfenicol before it enters the environment. Using molecular evolution, he improved a hydrolase enzyme, produced it in bacteria and studied its florfenicol cleavage by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. For cost-effective florfenicol inactivation, he coupled the enzyme to carrier materials such as silica and validated repeated use of the antibiotic filter. He also established antibiotic inactivation in salt water and cow milk demonstrating potential use scenarios.