Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antibiotic resistance is not just genetic

Date:
January 10, 2011
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Genetic resistance to antibiotics is not the only trick bacteria use to resist eradication -- they also have a second defense strategy known as persistence that can kick in. Researchers have now demonstrated for the first time that interplay occurs between the two mechanisms to aid bacterial survival. The findings could lead to novel, effective approaches to treat multi-drug resistant infections.

Wild-type Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium.
Credit: Pierre Cornelis

Genetic resistance to antibiotics is not the only trick bacteria use to resist eradication- they also have a second defence strategy known as persistence that can kick in.

Related Articles


Researchers reporting in the Journal of Medical Microbiology have now demonstrated for the first time that interplay occurs between the two mechanisms to aid bacterial survival. The findings could lead to novel, effective approaches to treat multi-drug resistant (MDR) infections.

'Persister' bacterial cells are temporarily hyper-resistant to all antibiotics at once. They are able to survive (normally) lethal levels of antibiotics without being genetically resistant to the drug. These cells are a significant cause of treatment failure yet the mechanism behind the persistence phenomenon is still unclear.

Scientists from Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium found that the number of persister cells isolated from Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections decreases when the bacterial population shows genetic resistance to the antibiotic fosfomycin.

P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen and a significant cause of hospital-acquired infections. It can cause fatal infections in people suffering from cystic fibrosis. The bacterium is notorious for its ability to develop resistance against commonly-used antibiotics and treatment failure is common.

Professor Jan Michiels who led the study explained that persister cells are a major contributor to treatment failure. "Persister cells are produced in low numbers, but nevertheless make it almost impossible to completely remove the bug from the patient. As a result, eradication of infections through antibiotic treatment usually takes a long time," he said. "Our work shows that antibiotic treatment may also influence the number of persisters formed."

Co-administration therapies are being developed to treat MDR infections, in which drugs targeting non-essential cellular functions are combined with antibiotics. Professor Michiels explained that targeting persistence is an attractive option. "Ideally both susceptible and persistent cells would be targeted in a single therapy, but firstly we need to understand more about the interplay between genetic resistance and persistence to avoid stimulating one or the other. Unravelling the mechanism behind bacterial persistence is really important to enable us to optimise treatments of chronic bacterial infections."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jan Michiels et al. Pseudomonas aeruginosa fosfomycin resistance mechanisms affect non-inherited fluoroquinolone tolerance. Journal of Medical Microbiology, January 6, 2010 DOI: 10.1099/jmm.0.019703-0

Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Antibiotic resistance is not just genetic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105194838.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2011, January 10). Antibiotic resistance is not just genetic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105194838.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Antibiotic resistance is not just genetic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110105194838.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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