Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Facing apparent resistance to antibiotics

30.07.2008
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found new ways to kill dormant bacteria that have become seemingly resistant to antibiotics.

Although antibiotics are the most preferred treatment against bacterial infection and disease, it has become apparent that some diseases can't be treated simply by administering antibiotics.

Sub-populations of some bacteria can avoid the lethal antibiotics by decreasing their metabolism, remaining dormant for days and waiting for the right opportunity to strike again.

Researchers at the Hebrew University studied these dormant bacteria and found two new ways to kill them: either by subjecting the bacteria to a fresh dose of nutrients together with the antibiotic treatment, or by infecting those dormant bacteria with phages, namely viruses that attack bacteria. In both cases the survival of these dormant bacteria was significantly reduced.

Bio-physicist Dr. Nathalie Q. Balaban at the Hebrew University's Racah Institute of Physics, doctoral student Orit Gefen and master's student Sivan Pearl, recently reported their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA and PLoS Biology.

Their research shows that sub-populations of the E. Coli bacteria persist antibiotic treatments by shutting down their activity. The activity was determined by following the production of fluorescent proteins in bacteria trapped on micro-chips.

The team discovered that protein production does occur in dormant bacteria, immediately after exiting the stationary phase. By exposing the entire bacteria population to antibiotics during this time-frame, the team significantly reduced the number of dormant bacteria that survived. These results offer a potentially new way to tackle dormant bacteria, which are the main reason for failure of antibiotic treatments in diseases such as tuberculosis, which often requires months or years of antibiotic treatment.

Also, the results challenge current views as to bacterial dormancy, and suggest an alternative model for the differentiation of normal bacterial cells into dormant ones.

Together with Prof. Oppenheim from the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, the team also studied the interaction between dormant bacteria and phages. They tried to determine whether dormancy evolved as a protection mechanism against phage attack, thus allowing the bacteria to survive under stressful environments. The team showed that the existence of dormant bacteria provides advantage when the population is attacked by lysogenic phage (a phage that may reside inside the bacteria for some generations and only then multiply and attack). Nevertheless, dormancy provided no protection when the bacteria were attacked by lytic phage that reproduces and kills immediately.

According to Dr. Balaban, "These results might lead to new phage therapies for fighting infections that persist despite the antibiotics."

Rebecca Zeffert | alfa
Further information:
http://www.savion.huji.ac.il

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>