Skip to comments.UEA researchers discover Achilles’ heel in antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Posted on 06/18/2014 6:27:26 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance.
New research published today in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.
The discovery doesnt come a moment too soon. The World Health Organization has warned that antibiotic-resistance in bacteria is spreading globally, causing severe consequences. And even common infections which have been treatable for decades can once again kill.
Researchers investigated a class of bacteria called Gram-negative bacteria which is particularly resistant to antibiotics because of its cells impermeable lipid-based outer membrane.
This outer membrane acts as a defensive barrier against attacks from the human immune system and antibiotic drugs. It allows the pathogenic bacteria to survive, but removing this barrier causes the bacteria to become more vulnerable and die.
Until now little has been known about exactly how the defensive barrier is built. The new findings reveal how bacterial cells transport the barrier building blocks (called lipopolysaccharides) to the outer surface.
Group leader Prof Changjiang Dong, from UEAs Norwich Medical School, said: We have identified the path and gate used by the bacteria to transport the barrier building blocks to the outer surface. Importantly, we have demonstrated that the bacteria would die if the gate is locked.
This is really important because drug-resistant bacteria is a global health problem. Many current antibiotics are becoming useless, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.
The number of super-bugs are increasing at an unexpected rate. This research provides the platform for urgently-needed new generation drugs.
Lead author PhD student Haohao Dong said: The really exciting thing about this research is that new drugs will specifically target the protective barrier around the bacteria, rather than the bacteria itself.
Because new drugs will not need to enter the bacteria itself, we hope that the bacteria will not be able to develop drug resistance in future.
This research was funded by Wellcome Trust. Research collaborators included the University of St Andrews, Dr Neil Paterson of Diamond Light Source (UK), Dr Phillip Stansfield from the University of Oxford, and Prof Wenjan Wang of Sun Yat-sen University (China).
Structural basis for outer membrane lipopolysaccharide insertion is published in the journal Nature on June 18, 2014.
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
This is good news.
I hope it passes human trials.
This is stupid. Bacteria reproduce by the billions under constant adaptational stress. There ARE bacteria resistant to this attack. They WILL survive and reproduce.
Great if it’s true, but this is the bunch that has given us the FAKE GLOBAL WARMING data. It’s really hard to trust them at all.
Different departments, I would think.
“Different departments, I would think.”
Agree...but still too close for me.
Personally wouldn’t trust East Anglia on anything no matter the department. BobL is right on in his post. I was about to post the same when I saw his, and I believe Talisker is right on the mark as well.
The study and new methods are not stupid. What would be stupid would be if we killed the 'good' bacteria.
Bacteria reproduce by the billions under constant adaptational stress.
High speed micro-evolution.
There ARE bacteria resistant to this attack. They WILL survive and reproduce.
Pretty smart little buggers, aren't they?
Whatever we do to interfere with their ability to survive, they will adapt to. Although we must (and fairly well do) control them to an extent, without bacteria and viruses, we could not live.
All life on Earth is dependent on death and destruction.
This new 'discovery' may give us a temporary ability to control certain bacteria. Which is a very good thing.
That it will not work perfectly on every type of bacterial cell, or forever, is expected.
But that is exactly the claim I'm seeing them try to make. That's why I call it stupid.
Possible list interest ping.
Ping...(Thanks, Gene Eric!)
Agree...but still too close for me.
I can assure you that, as a PhD educated life scientist, I have never even taken an atmospheric science course, nor have any of the other PhD level scientists that I work with. Equating life scientists like those described in the article with climatologists is like equating a bridge engineer with a train engineer--they are completely different.
Even within the life sciences, there are major differences. I would take much of the research published by medical doctors with a huge grain of salt, for instance.
Oy. Once again, we have a reporter with no understanding of science trying to describe a physical concept and getting it utterly wrong. Gram-negative bacteria actually have very thin cell walls as compared to Gram-positive bacteria, although both classes of bacteria have structural similarities. Both have an outer membrane covering the cell wall, and an inner membrane inside the cell wall. Antibiotic resistance takes many forms. From reading this article, I do not know which form of resistance is being negated; I guess I will have to look up the original research to find out.
Yup. They can adapt to any single stress.
The key is an antibiotic cocktail. If one in a million is resistant to “A”, one in a million is resistant to “B” and one in a million is resistant to “C”, how many are resistant to A+B+C?
1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000, a number so large it exceeds the National Debt, a fraction so small that most people have never even heard of a quintillionth by name.
And no one factors in the good bacteria from the bad, they just kill it all.
As a female, every time I was put on antibiotics I developed yeast infections. Finally found that taking 50 billion Probiotics multi strain, stopped it. Yogurt is a waste of money.
I listen to the ads on TV, and they pick and chose what they disclose. Nexium just went OTC at the 20 mg dose, what the ad leaves out is that long term use can lead to Bone Density issues, and Barrett’s Esophagus Nexium
Bone density side effects, and Barret’s Esophagus
http://www.valleyhealthcancercenter.com/Cancer-Services/Barretts-Esophagus - GERD treatment Upper GI every 2 yrs biopsy.
Lyrica actually mimics the Fibromyalgia it is being touted for; and sex life good bye if you react to it along with the high weight gain like you get from being on Predisone to long. Besides it is highly addictive.
Lyrica anti-epileptic http://www.rxlist.com/lyrica-side-effects-drug-center.htm
Often used beside Lyrica.
Gabapentin Side Effects http://www.rxlist.com/neurontin-side-effects-drug-center.htm
To the regret of many patients put on them. OP drugs are dangerous. They have a FDA warning doctors are ignoring. How many have to die of kidney failure, jaw degeneration and develop A FIB before they are removed from the market?
My PCP and ENDO are pushing for this crap. Foreto which reverses itself at the end of the treatment period. Already had a bad reaction to Fosamax sample. Made 5 days with terrible bone pain. Went in the trash. I chose to do Holistic s with Vitamins and minerals bones are made out of. Never heard of one of them killing patients. And with Bone Density test now MANDATED at every 2 yrs, same as PSA’s for men I won’t know how well it works until 2015.
FDA ALERT RECLAST higher risk of Kidney Failure and A Fib.
Reclast UPS kidney failure, A FIB risk.
Safety update for osteoporosis drugs, bisphosphonates, and atypical fractures
The Ketogenic Diet Works; A Mom Reflects on the Success
Thanks for the ping!
Fale analogy, there is no such thing as a single stress in the real world, it's all multiples. And in addition (no pun intended) your numbers are illustrative, otherwise there woul dnever be any successful bactrerial adaptation ever. Finally, how many successful adaptations are necessary? Answer - only one that lives to reproduce. Your same mathematics grows that survivor into trillions because it can defeat what is attacking it.
I'm not saying this isn't probably a success. I just get cheesed off when it totuts itself as perfect. And that's coming from the actual science foundation, not even the press, so it's a million times more offensive.
But look WHERE it's from - East Anglia, the hockey-stick climate change liars. So what IS it with that place?
I understand that, but that University does seem to have a BIG PROBLEM dealing with people that put out phony information. That’s why ANYTHING out of there is considered suspect.
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