JUL 07, 2015 11:31 AM PDT

New Potential Treatment for Infections Caused By Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Revealed

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Hertrich
Antimicrobial resistance has been recognized as a significant global health priority that threatens to take modern medical and veterinary practice back to the pre-antibiotic era. It is a shared concern in both developed and developing countries. Resistant infections are responsible for over 23,000 deaths per year in the United States and 25,000 deaths per year in the European Union. According to the World Health Organization, "This is a serious threat that is no longer a prediction for the future; it is happening now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country". As bacterial pathogens continue to develop resistance to drugs, scientists are searching for new ways to treat bacterial infections.
New Study Performed at KU Leuven in Belgium Suggests How Bacteria Survive Antibiotic Treatment
A new study published in Molecular Cell suggests that there is a common mechanism for the way bacteria are able to survive treatment with antibiotics. In this study, researchers from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium discovered that a gene known as Obg plays a major role in bacterial persistence. The gene is involved in the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins as well as induces a state of dormancy in bacterial cells during periods of stress or starvation.

When Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were treated with antibiotics, high levels of Obg were detected in both bacterial species when they were able to survive the treatment. According to researchers, this suggests a common mechanism that allows different species of bacteria to persist during antibiotic treatment.

It is suggested that the ability of bacteria to convert to this dormant state is considered to be the main reason why antibiotics often fail during the treatment of bacterial infections; however this theory remains controversial. This study reveals a potential new gene target (Obg) for future treatment of infections. While these findings are very exciting, much more research needs to be done in order to determine the full potential of such treatments.

Sources: Molecular Cell, Medical News Today, World Health Organization
About the Author
  • I am a postdoctoral researcher with interests in pre-harvest microbial food safety, nonthermal food processing technologies, zoonotic pathogens, and plant-microbe interactions. My current research projects involve the optimization of novel food processing technologies to reduce the number of foodborne pathogens on fresh produce. I am a food geek!
You May Also Like
OCT 01, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
HPV Vaccine Protects Against Cervical Cancer, Large Study Finds
OCT 01, 2020
HPV Vaccine Protects Against Cervical Cancer, Large Study Finds
It has been known for some time that the HPV vaccine protects against human papillomavirus infection, genital warts, and ...
OCT 06, 2020
Immunology
COVID Triggers Abnormalities in Immune Monocytes
OCT 06, 2020
COVID Triggers Abnormalities in Immune Monocytes
University of Manchester immunologists are the first to make an interesting observation about the white blood cells of p ...
OCT 13, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
A Small Part of the Brain May Transmit Inflammation From Mom to Fetus
OCT 13, 2020
A Small Part of the Brain May Transmit Inflammation From Mom to Fetus
There is still a lot we don't know about the brain, and especially about two small bits of tissue deep within it called ...
OCT 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
Genetically Engineered Foods Could Alleviate Nutritional Deficiencies
OCT 19, 2020
Genetically Engineered Foods Could Alleviate Nutritional Deficiencies
There are over two billion people around the world that don't get the recommended levels of minerals and vitamins in ...
OCT 21, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Extracellular Vesicles Help Heart Cells Survive a Heart Attack
OCT 21, 2020
Extracellular Vesicles Help Heart Cells Survive a Heart Attack
During a heart attack, blood flow is blocked and cells lose oxygen and begin to die. Scientists are developing many new ...
OCT 26, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
Does a 'Mismatch' Between Diet and Biology Cause Poor Health?
OCT 26, 2020
Does a 'Mismatch' Between Diet and Biology Cause Poor Health?
People that eat a 'paleo' diet operate under the idea that we should be eating more like our ancestors, and that metabol ...
Loading Comments...