Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Examine How Bacteria Become Resistant to Antibiotics

06.10.2010
A study by two Florida State University biochemists makes an important contribution to science’s understanding of a serious problem causing concern worldwide: the growing resistance of some harmful bacteria to the drugs that were intended to kill them.

Investigating exactly how bacteria learn to fend off antibiotics prescribed to treat infections is the subject of new research by Assistant Professor Brian G. Miller of FSU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and one of his graduate research assistants, Kevin K. Desai.

They have found that bacteria are remarkably resilient to toxic substances, such as antibiotics, because bacteria have the innate ability to produce a large variety of proteins. Those proteins then are able to do things such as pump toxins out or alter toxins so that they can no longer kill the bacteria.

“Most of us take antibiotics to eliminate infections without considering what would happen if they failed to work,” said Kevin Desai, a graduate research assistant in Florida State’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “While treating bacterial infections has typically been as easy as swallowing a pill, researchers are apprehensive about the increasing frequency of infections that are resistant to antibiotics, and are searching for ways to regain the upper hand.”

In their study, Miller and Desai learned that about 2 percent of all the proteins produced by the model bacterium E. coli can be linked to enabling resistance to a single toxin called bromoacetate. Their research also has implications in elucidating the function of specific proteins and understanding how bacteria in the environment can survive in the presence of toxic manmade chemicals such as pesticides.

A paper describing Desai and Miller’s work was published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That paper is titled “Recruitment of Genes and Enzymes Conferring Resistance to the Nonnatural Toxin Bromoacetate.”

“The recent rise of antibiotic resistance demonstrates that bacteria are capable of rapidly evolving evasive strategies,” they wrote. “It also has exposed our lack of knowledge about the evolutionary processes leading to resistance.”

Understanding the mechanisms by which bacteria evade environmental threats has direct relevance for understanding and combating the rise of antibiotic resistance, Desai and Miller added.

The techniques described in the paper will be highly useful for other researchers in the field because it will allow them to predict the resistance to specific antibiotics. Any resistance mechanisms identified could then be inhibited so that the antibiotics will retain their effectiveness.

Their research was funded, in part, by grants from the James and Ester King Biomedical Research Program and from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

CONTACT: Kevin K. Desai
(850) 645-8683; kkd02d@fsu.edu
or Brian G. Miller
(850) 645-6570; miller@chem.fsu.edu

Kevin K. Desai | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.fsu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Protein interaction helps Yersinia cause disease

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Biosensor allows real-time oxygen monitoring for 'organs-on-a-chip'

21.08.2018 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>