Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Resistance to antibiotics can be drawback for bacteria

Date:
January 7, 2010
Source:
Expertanswer
Summary:
Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a bacterium that can cause diseases with high fatality rates, and there has therefore been considerable concern that, like other bacteria, it might become resistant to antibiotics. But now a study shows that there has not been any increase in resistant meningococci in Sweden over the last 15 years. The reason for this may be that it is not especially advantageous for bacteria to develop resistance.

Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a bacterium that can cause diseases with high fatality rates, and there has therefore been considerable concern that, like other bacteria, it might become resistant to antibiotics. But now a study from Φrebro University and Φrebro University Hospital in Sweden shows that there has not been any increase in resistant meningococci in Sweden over the last 15 years.

According to researcher Sara Thulin Hedberg, the reason for this may be that it is not especially advantageous for bacteria to develop resistance.

Meningococci are usually harmless bacteria, and about one person in ten carries them in their throats or airways without knowing it. But they can also make their way into the blood and through the blood-brain barrier and cause blood poisoning and/or meningitis, and then the fatality rate is high, about 10 percent.

It has therefore been disturbing to see reports from most countries in recent years that meningococci have also begun to be more resistant to antibiotics. But now Sara Thulin Hedberg can establish in her doctoral dissertation in biomedicine that this is not the case in Sweden at present. Even though some of the bacteria have become resistant to individual preparations, they have not increased in number and do not seem to be spreading in society.

"We expected a more negative tendency, considering the dramatic increase in resistant bacteria in society, so these findings are both a surprise and a great relief," she says.

Since meningococci are very good at adapting, using their ability to pick up parts of DNA from other bacteria in the same family, for instance, they have every chance of rapidly changing and developing resistance. But Sara Thulin Hedberg's research indicates that the biological cost is too great for the bacteria. In other words, it is not a formula for success to become resistant.

When she studied meningococci that had become resistant to rifampicin, an antibiotic, she discovered that they do not multiply as rapidly and are not as good at infecting a host. They are quite simply somewhat weaker and not as good at reproducing. This means that they have a hard time competing with susceptible meningococci as soon as they find themselves in an antibiotic-free environment.

The findings from Sara Thulin Hedberg's research may ultimately open new potential for combating resistant bacteria.

"By enhancing our knowledge of how bacteria change and are affected by developing resistance it may be possible to design antibiotics that bacteria find it more difficult to adapt to without excessive cost to themselves."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Expertanswer. "Resistance to antibiotics can be drawback for bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105131727.htm>.
Expertanswer. (2010, January 7). Resistance to antibiotics can be drawback for bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105131727.htm
Expertanswer. "Resistance to antibiotics can be drawback for bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100105131727.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins