A New Antibiotic Weakness—Drugs Themselves Help Bacteria Survive

Posted by: | December 7, 2017 | Comments

A New Antibiotic Weakness—Drugs Themselves Help Bacteria Survive

Antibiotics save lives, but they are not fail-safe. Even when microbes haven’t acquired drug-evading genetic mutations—a hallmark of antibiotic resistance—the medications don’t always clear infections. A new study identifies a surprising reason why: At infection sites, antibiotics change the natural mixture of chemicals made by the body in ways that protect infecting bacteria. They also thwart the ability of the host’s immune cells to fight off the intruders.

These findings, published Thursday in Cell Host & Microbe, could help scientists “build more effective treatments,” says James Collins, a biological engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and senior author of the paper. Down the line it may be possible to administer antibiotics along with other substances that either mitigate these changes or have the opposite effect, making drugs more effective, he says.

Read at: Scientific American

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