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: email@example.com.
Pressofficer Ingrid Lundegårdh, firstname.lastname@example.org;+46-705 52 31 26
Ingrid Lundegårdh | idw
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
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...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
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...
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....
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...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2018 | Information Technology
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences