Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
RANDOX LABORATORIES

Misuse of Antibiotics May Spur Bacterial Acquisition of Drug Resistance

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 18 Mar 2013
Print article
Petri dish with bacterial colonies growing in a hazardous substrate (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mohammed Bakkali, Department of Genetics, University of Granada).
Petri dish with bacterial colonies growing in a hazardous substrate (Photo courtesy of Dr. Mohammed Bakkali, Department of Genetics, University of Granada).
A recent paper reviewed the scientific literature regarding acquisition of drug resistance by bacteria and advanced the theory that in most cases resistance is transferred by uptake of DNA that had been released by resistant organisms that had been broken open by the stress of antibiotic treatment.

The author, Dr. Mohammed Bakkali, professor of genetics at the University of Granada (Spain) reviewed some of the literature on bacterial acquisition of drug resistance and discussed four hypotheses on how and why bacteria take up DNA. He argued in the February 5, 2013, online edition of the journal Archives of Microbiology that DNA uptake by bacteria is an accidental by-product of bacterial adhesion and twitching motility. Adhesion and motility are generally increased in stressful conditions, which may explain why bacteria increase DNA uptake in these conditions.

This hypothesis has significant clinical implications and finds further support from the fact that antibiotics sometimes fail to eliminate the targeted bacterium while inevitably causing stress to others. The widespread misuse of antibiotics may thus not only be selecting for resistant strains, but may also be causing bacteria to take up more DNA with the consequent increase in the chances of acquiring drug resistance and virulence.

"Our current indiscriminate use of antibiotics not only selects the resistant bacteria, but also means that the bacteria take up more DNA, due to their increased motility in response to the stress that the antibiotic subjects them to," said Dr. Bakkali. "In this way, the nonresistant bacteria become resistant completely by accident on ingesting this DNA and can even become much more virulent, partly due to the stress we subject them to when we make an abusive use of antibiotics."

Related Links:

University of Granada



Print article

Channels

Biochemistry

view channel
Image: A space-filling model of the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Wastewater May Contaminate Crops with Potentially Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Reclaimed wastewater used to irrigate crops is contaminated with pharmaceutical residues that can be detected in the urine of those who consumed such produce. Investigators at the Hebrew University... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: A three-dimensional printer adapted for stem cell production (Photo courtesy of Nano Dimension).

Israeli Developers Demonstrate Prototype Three-Dimensional Bioprinter

Two Israeli companies have combined efforts in the development of three-dimensional printer technology for the production of stem cells. The three-dimensional print electronics developer Nano Dimension... Read more

Business

view channel

Acquisition to Boost Development of Drugs for Neurogenic Conditions

According to a recent announcement, a privately held biotechnology/drug development company is to be acquired by one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers. The drug manufacturer Merck & Co. (Kenilworth, NJ, USA) has agreed to pay 500 million USD up front for Afferent Pharmaceuticals (San Mateo, CA, USA) and up... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2016 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.