Imposing a restriction on the usage of antibiotics might not be a good enough measure for curbing the spread and outbreak of the resistant breed of bacteria, as per a new research conducted on mice. In fact, more effort is needed in focusing on the prevention of infections by these superbugs in initial stages itself. These conclusions were drawn by the ETH Zurich scientists in Switzerland. They identified a mechanism pertaining to antibiotic resistance outbreak and spread of bacteria inhabiting the gut. This mechanism had been unknown till now.
A recently published Nature paper has described, with the use of mice, the method in which the team uncovered the mechanism found in persisters. The term ‘persisters’ is being used to signify persistent bacteria, which can live through antibiotic treatment by adopting dormant state. According to Médéric Diard who was the co-senior author of the study, if we want to check the resistance genes’ spread, we need to focus on these resistant microorganisms first and stop them from spreading via vaccinations or significant hygiene measures.
Till very recently, Diard had been working at the ETH Zurich. Currently, he is employed at Switzerland’s Basel University as a professor. As per the WHO or World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance has the potential to be a major concern in public health of every country.
The U.S. alone has figures of nearly 2 million individuals who developed infections of the antibiotic resistant nature each year. As per reports by the Prevention and Control of Disease Centers, a minimum of 23,000 deaths occur out of these 2 million individuals. Usually, bacteria turn antibiotic resistant by developing resistance genes. These genes can be acquired via horizontal transfer of genes from different bacteria as well as spontaneous mutation. This resistance power eventually helps the bacteria to defeat antibiotics.
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