Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Development of antibiotic resistance more predictable than expected

05.07.2012
New research approach can help predict the ‘tenability’ of antibiotics

Research by Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, has shown that the development of bacteria with resistance against the antibiotic cefotaxime occurs more often and more predictably than was previously assumed.


3D enzyme. The 48 mutations found in the enzyme TEM-1 beta-lactamase that increase resistance against the antibiotic cefotaxime. The colours indicate the increase in cefotaxime. The inset shows the same enzyme, turned 180 degrees horizontally.

Bacterial populations were found to have many mutations that increase resistance and therefore have a negative effect on public health. Moreover, the effects are such that it can be predicted that the development of bacterial strains with a resistance against cefotaxime will progress in a similar way in different patients from different locations.

Together with German colleagues, the Wageningen scientists developed a research approach which will allow them to predict whether, and if so how, resistant bacterial strains will develop for other antibiotics as well.

The Wageningen scientists studied the main enzyme that causes resistance against the antibiotic cefotaxime. The only function of this beta-lactamase enzyme is the breakdown of so-called beta-lactam antibiotics, which kill bacteria by preventing the production of their cell walls. Martijn Schenk and Arjan de Visser, genetic scientists at Wageningen University, were surprised by the number of mutations with a positive effect on the resistance against cefotaxime. De Visser: “Of all the mutations we found in this beta-lactamase, more than three per cent caused an increase in the resistance against the antibiotic. To top it all off, we discovered that the mutations with a strong effect also had a much greater impact than we had anticipated. Based on theoretical arguments and previous observations, we had estimated the effects on the resistance against the antibiotic to be significantly lower.”

The presence in particular of mutations with a very strong effect on resistance to the antibiotic facilitates the prediction of the development of resistant bacterial strains.

Collaboration with a group of physicists in Germany enabled the Wageningen scientists to study the genetic findings quantitatively, as Martijn Schenk explains: “The physicists built computer models that helped us as geneticists to move forward. We were able to show that it is probable that the bacteria will become resistant against the antibiotic in a similar way in various patients throughout the world.”

According to De Visser the approach taken can also be used to predict the ‘tenability’ of other antibiotics, as the combination of computer models with knowledge about the number and effect of the mutations provides concrete leads.

http://www.wur.nl/UK/newsagenda/news/PPSG_bacteria_resistance.htm

Attached files

3D enzyme. The 48 mutations found in the enzyme TEM-1 beta-lactamase that increase resistance against the antibiotic cefotaxime. The colours indicate the increase in cefotaxime. The inset shows the same enzyme, turned 180 degrees horizontally.

Table. The Wageningen scientists found an unexpectedly large amount of mutations that considerably increased the resistance of the enzyme to the antibiotic.

Full bibliographic informationSchenk, MF, IG Szendro, J Krug and JAGM de Visser. 2012. Quantifying the adaptive potential of an antibiotic resistance enzyme. PLoS Genetics 8(6): e1002783

Jac Niessen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wur.nl

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria
22.03.2019 | Harvard University

nachricht Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack
22.03.2019 | Rice University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>