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.