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Killing Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria: A Newer Method

Why Is This important?

Antibiotic resistance is a regular phenomenon in living things. However, due to the misuse of antibiotics, there has been a significant increase in antibiotic resistance over the years. This is risky because infections like pneumonia, and tuberculosis, to mention a few, have grown more difficult to treat, as drugs have become ineffective.

Antibiotic resistance leads to prolonged stays in hospitals, and increased amounts in deaths. Resistance is increased when antibiotics may be purchased without a prescription for human or animal usage. Antibiotics are also frequently over-prescribed by health workers and veterinarians, as well as over-used by the general people, in nations without conventional treatment recommendations.

This problem is steadily increasing in all parts of the world and action is needed to make sure common infections won’t easily harm others.

Image is courtesy of BBC.

Methods of Prevention

Some of the methods health care professionals have taken included making sure work areas and tools are clean, and only dispensing antibiotics when they are necessary.

Individuals can also take responsibility by practicing correct hygiene such as regularly washing their hands, and proper food preparation so as to not spread pathogens. People should also not demand for antibiotics when your healthcare provider says you don't need them.

New Methods

A new preventative technique is supposed to disarm anti-resistant bacteria's inherent defensive mechanism without the need for additional antibiotics. Their strategy, according to Evgeny Nudler, professor of biochemistry at the Grossman School of Medicine, was to strengthen current antibiotics. The study was published in Science on June 10th 2021.

Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, two microorganisms that exhibit great antibiotic resistance, were studied. To prevent harmful effects of medications that are lethal for them, both require the enzyme cystathionine gamma lyase (CSE) (bactericidal antibiotics). In the end they found candidates for blocking CSE without the interaction of mammalian cells.

These compounds improved the effectiveness of bacterial antibiotics, with one of them also increasing the longevity of mice treated with antibiotics after being infected with the two highly resistant bacteria.

The next huge step is moving onto humans and finding the safesting route of administration and dosage, says Thien-Fah Mah profesor at the University of Ottawa who wasn’t involved in the study.

If testing on humans is deemed safe, this could define a new chapter in combatting antibiotic resistance altogether, opening up a new chapter in medicine and related fields.

Article Author: Idil Gure

Article Editors: Stephanie Sahadeo, Sherilyn Wen


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