Bac­te­ria can make them­selves in­vis­i­ble to an­tibi­otics: Study

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Trends -


can tem­po­rar­ily dis­guise them­selves in or­der to avoid be­ing de­tected by an­tibi­otics, sci­en­tists say. The study is the first to show that bac­te­ria can change form in the hu­man body, hid­ing the cell wall in­side them­selves. Con­ceal­ing the cell wall means an­tibi­otics have no tar­get, pro­vid­ing a po­ten­tial cause of re­sis­tance, ac­cord­ing to re­searchers from New­cas­tle Univer­sity. Sci­en­tists used state-of-the art tech­niques to an­a­lyse sam­ples from el­derly pa­tients with re­cur­ring uri­nary tract in­fec­tions (UTI). The re­search, known as “L-form switch­ing”, shows that when an­tibi­otics are present — such as in a pa­tient with a UTI re­ceiv­ing peni­cillin or other cell wall-tar­get­ing an­tibi­otics — the bac­te­ria has the abil­ity to change form. The re­search, pub­lished in Na­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, used sam­ples ob­tained through a col­lab­o­ra­tion with clin­i­cians at the New­cas­tle Free­man Hos­pi­tal, part of New­cas­tle upon Tyne Hospi­tals Foun­da­tion Trust.


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