Sunday, October 21, 2018

Antibiotic Resistance: Breakthrough Study Offers Solution

Resistance to antibiotics is one of the leading global health issue and in the United States alone, it is estimated that “antibiotic-resistant bacteria affect about two million people per year and account for 23,000 deaths.” Resistance to antibiotics occur when the small amount of bacteria that survive after the use of the antibiotic change in a way that allow them to resist or reduce the effectiveness of the drug. The bacteria eventually multiply, allowing its resistance to grow.

The possibility that antibiotics may go ineffective will be a big issue for “medical procedures such as joint replacement, cesarean delivery, bowel surgery, and chemotherapy as they could become too dangerous to perform.” However, a team at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio has recently found a way to use specific small molecules that cause the bacteria to go ineffective instead of killing them. The molecule works in a way that prevents the bacteria from releasing toxins that will kill immune cells. The study was performed on mice and it was found that the mice that were treated with the small molecules all survived while 70 percent of the mice that were untreated had died.

 It’s extremely concerning to hear that tens of thousands of people die from resistance to antibiotics every year. As a drug that is supposed to help cure people from infections, it actually damages our bodies for future attacks. It’s great that scientist are actually aware of this issue and are working hard to find a possible cure. Instead of killing the bacteria which will allow for the growth and spread of resistant bacteria, it seems like this is an effective technique where the bacteria is made ineffective instead.


  1. I found this extremely intriguing because I did not know that this issue was occurring. I hope that the new study being done to make the bacteria ineffective instead of killing them works because this will not produce a resistance to antibiotics, which can cause many issues in the medical field. We do not want patients dying from medicine that is supposed to help cure them, but instead it has been doing the opposite this entire time.

  2. This article stuck out to me because strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are becoming more common. It has unfortunately become a widespread phenomenon and made certain strains more difficult to treat. I really hope that this method will be cleared for use on humans, but I read an older article last semester about the use of peptides to fight infections. Both of these methods have a lot of potential, but I really hope that this issue gets resolved before it gets worse.

    Here is the article if you're interested:
    By: Ezra M.C. Chung, Scott N. Dean, Crystal N. Propst, Barney M. Bishop & Monique L. van Hoek. (11 April 2017) Komodo dragon-inspired synthetic peptide DRGN-1 promotes wound-healing of a mixed-biofilm infected wound.