Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Resistance to antibiotics can be drawback for bacteria

06.01.2010
Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a bacterium that can cause diseases with high fatality rates, and there has therefore been considerable concern that, like other bacteria, it might become resistant to antibiotics.

But now a study from Örebro University and Örebro University Hospital in Sweden shows that there has not been any increase in resistant meningococci in Sweden over the last 15 years. According to researcher Sara Thulin Hedberg, the reason for this may be that it is not especially advantageous for bacteria to develop resistance.

Meningococci are usually harmless bacteria, and about one person in ten carries them in their throats or airways without knowing it. But they can also make their way into the blood and through the blood-brain barrier and cause blood poisoning and/or meningitis, and then the fatality rate is high, about 10 percent.

It has therefore been disturbing to see reports from most countries in recent years that meningococci have also begun to be more resistant to antibiotics. But now Sara Thulin Hedberg can establish in her doctoral dissertation in biomedicine that this is not the case in Sweden at present. Even though some of the bacteria have become resistant to individual preparations, they have not increased in number and do not seem to be spreading in society.

"We expected a more negative tendency, considering the dramatic increase in resistant bacteria in society, so these findings are both a surprise and a great relief," she says.

Since meningococci are very good at adapting, using their ability to pick up parts of DNA from other bacteria in the same family, for instance, they have every chance of rapidly changing and developing resistance. But Sara Thulin Hedberg's research indicates that the biological cost is too great for the bacteria. In other words, it is not a formula for success to become resistant.

When she studied meningococci that had become resistant to rifampicin, an antibiotic, she discovered that they do not multiply as rapidly and are not as good at infecting a host. They are quite simply somewhat weaker and not as good at reproducing. This means that they have a hard time competing with susceptible meningococci as soon as they find themselves in an antibiotic-free environment.

The findings from Sara Thulin Hedberg's research may ultimately open new potential for combating resistant bacteria.

"By enhancing our knowledge of how bacteria change and are affected by developing resistance it may be possible to design antibiotics that bacteria find it more difficult to adapt to without excessive cost to themselves."

Sara Thulin Hedberg works at the National Reference Laboratory for Pathogenic Neisseria at Örebro University Hospital, and she has mapped what happens at the genetic level when meningococci change and develop increased resistance to antibiotics. She has studied lines of meningococci from Sweden and Africa and has also carried out part of her research at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.

Sara Thulin Hedberg presents her findings in her doctoral dissertation titled Antibiotic susceptibility and resistance in Neisseria meningitidis - phenotypic and genotypic characteristics.

For more information, please contact Sara Thulin Hedberg, phone: +46 (0)19-602 15 20, e-mail: sara.thulin-hedberg@orebroll.se.

Pressofficer Ingrid Lundegårdh, ingrid.lundegardh@oru.se;+46-705 52 31 26

Ingrid Lundegårdh | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: 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....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

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

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>