Breakthrough May Resolve Patients’ Resistance to Antibiotics

Two recent studies headed by the University of Bristol have led to a scientific breakthrough that may resolve patients’ resistance to antibiotics.

Resistance is a natural phenomenon, which involves microorganisms surviving exposure to drugs that should normally kill them; these microorganisms then pass this ability onto others. Resistance to antibiotics can be accelerated by overuse or misuse of treatment drugs, along with poor infection control. As resistant organisms are able to withstand attack, infections tend to last longer and be more severe. This also means that usual treatments can become ineffective, costing the health service time and money. An estimated 700,000 deaths worldwide are caused every year by an infection that has become immune to the drugs used to treat it. The UK’s government has predicted that by 2050, this death toll will rise to 10 million a year if something isn’t done to combat it.

Luckily, a team of bacteriology researchers from the University of Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine have reportedly found the ‘Achilles heel’ of resistant forms of bacteria. More specifically, the weak spot is an enzyme (known as beta-lactams) that many bugs rely on to destroy common antibiotics.

See also: Health Benefits of Probiotics

‘Our bacteriology research has further demonstrated that beta-lactamases are the real “Achilles heel” of antibiotic resistance in bacteria that kill thousands of people in the UK every year,’ stated Dr Matthew Avison, a member of the research team.

Their discovery has highlighted the pivotal role the enzyme plays in the process of antibiotic resistance, even more so than other enzymes in similar categories. Their studies have also found that a combination of two enzyme-inhibitors along with the antibiotic aztreonam is able to kill some of the most resistant types of bacteria. This breakthrough may resolve or even reverse a significant proportion of antibiotic resistance, which before today has been a looming concern within the medical industry.

‘Structural/mechanistic work on beta-lactamase enzymes […] is helping to drive the discovery of wave after wave of beta-lactamase inhibitors, including the potentially game-changing bicyclic boronate class, shown to be effective in our research, and recently successful in phase I clinical trials.’

This news symbolises an exciting period for those studying beta-lactamase inhibitors. Avison even described it as ‘the first time for a decade that there is some genuine positivity about our ability to turn back the rising tide of beta-lactam antibiotic resistance.’

The team’s research has appeared within two respected scientific journals: the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Molecular Microbiology.

If you have enjoyed this article: ‘Breakthrough May Resolve Patients’ Resistance to Antibiotics’, click here to read more on Celebrity Angels about identifying change of season sickness. 


You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get
• FREE Competitions
• FREE Digital Magazines
• HOME and FAMILY News
And much more…

You have Successfully Subscribed!