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
APR 30, 2020
Cancer
APR 30, 2020
A New microRNA for the Cancer Fighting Toolkit
MiRNAs are small snippets of genetic information that regulate gene expression thought to be able to regulate up to 60% ...
MAY 04, 2020
Cardiology
MAY 04, 2020
Machine Learning May Help in the Diagnosis of Inherited High Cholesterol
Familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH, is an inherited genetic mutation in how the body recycles LDL cholesterol (bad cho ...
MAY 05, 2020
Microbiology
MAY 05, 2020
How a Microbe May Help Stop the Spread of Malaria
Scientists have discovered a bacterium that lives in mosquitoes around Lake Victoria, and appears to block malaria.
MAY 09, 2020
Cancer
MAY 09, 2020
Examining a Combination Therapy Against Gastric Cancer
Often when it comes to treatments for cancer, designing or discovering new leads can take years. One of the common pract ...
MAY 12, 2020
Immunology
MAY 12, 2020
Disabling Genes in Immune Cells Prevents Obesity
Obesity is a $1.7 trillion problem in the United States — a value almost 10% of the nation’s gross domestic ...
MAY 23, 2020
Cancer
MAY 23, 2020
A New Biomarker to Identify a Triple Negative Breast Cancer Prognosis
Breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in the world, are commonly separated into one of several sub-types. These ...
Loading Comments...