It has been known for a long time that bacteria develop resistance through gene swapping or conjugation. In addition, researchers believed that as antibiotic resistant bacteria form when antibiotics fail to kill the bacteria allowing them to mutate. However, new research done by Duke University student Lingchong You states that there is a possibility that the antibiotics were killing of the parental generation leaving the newly resistant strain to grow. Through 9 clinical tests, You's team was able to find out that the gene swapping occurred before antibiotics were introduced and continued. You them points out that there are very few proven examples where antibiotics induce resistance. This study thus proves that antibiotics do not promote the spread of resistance within bacteria. bacteria share resistances through conjugation and usually share the resistances whether antibiotics are present or not.
This study could be groundbreaking in terms of making new antibiotics. Researchers now knowing antibiotics do not normally induce resistance could possibly come up with new form of antibiotics that were previously declined based on previous data. I find this to be extremely helpful since bacteria are becoming more and more resistant while the number of antibiotics shortens almost constantly. I hope that this study can help researchers further our knowledge of how bacteria transfer DNA and create antibiotics that work for all people.