Scientists ultimately discovered a weapon to end antibiotic resistance of bacteria

Scientists have developed a new molecule that reverses antibiotic resistance in multiple strains of bacteria thereby making it the most promising advance in the fight against superbugs.

Scientists ultimately discovered a weapon to end antibiotic resistance of bacteria


What are superbugs?

Superbugs are resistant to drugs and human killing microbes.They show resistance to multiple antibiotics including the ones which are recommended in the final stages of person(last-line drugs).

Recently a US woman was killed by a superbug that was resistant to multiple antibiotics. Although intense research has been going on to find a probable solution so far no positive results have been reported. According to a report in 2014 Superbugs will kill 300 million people by 2050.

Many bacterial infections like E.coli, gonorrhoea and pseudomonas has easily been eliminated in the past using antibiotics.But the bacteria are evolving rapidly and developed resistance to the antibiotics.So this forced the scientists to come up with various strategies to stay ahead of bacteria.They developed many new drugs but of no avail.So another option was to induce some changes in the existing antibiotics.However, superbugs are found to mutate and also showed resistance to the modified drugs.


Bacteria spread resistance through a gene called NDM1.The NDM1 produces an enzyme New Delhi Metallo beta lactamase that makes the bacteria resistant to a class of penicillins called carbapenems which are considered last resort drugs. So this forced the doctors to focus on old antibiotic Costallin as the last drug resort, even though it is toxic to kidneys.

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Research Methodology

Bruce Geller from Oregon state university and his colleagues have developed a molecule that attacks NDM1 and reverses antibiotic resistance in many strains of bacteria. The new molecule is a type of PPMO that stands for peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer. Although earlier researchers have used PPMO molecules, they targeted only a specific genus of bacteria. But this new molecule targets the mechanism of antibiotic resistance that is common to the number of bacteria rather than genus,

So one PPMO molecule can effectively act against a variety of bacteria in contrast to the earlier PPMO molecules that are genus specific. The team tested the new molecule in Petri dish with three genera of bacteria that expressed NDM1 and resistant to carbapenems. They used the new molecule along with the type of carbapenem called meropenem and it successfully restored the antibiotic ability to kill the bacteria.The researchers have used the same combination in mice infected with antibiotic resistant E.coli and found that it reduced the infection and also improved the survival rates of mice.The researchers say that it could be ready for clinical trials in three years.

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