Friday, November 16, 2018

Natural Antibiotic Strips Bacteria of their Defenses

In the United States, over 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths results from the resistance to antibiotics. Recently, a research has been done where researchers discovered that “an insect-derived antibiotic can destroy the protective membrane of some of the most prevalent drug-resistant bacteria.”

Scientist at the University of Zurich in Switzerland found that a natural antibiotic produced by an insect called the spined soldier bug, can attack the external membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. The World Health Survey surveyed half a million people and found that the five most common antibiotic resistant bacteria are: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Salmonella. Of the five listed, four of them are Gram-negative bacteria.

The thanatin works in a way where it blocks the interactions between proteins that are required to form a bridge between lipopolysaccharide (LPS) molecules found on the inner membrane to the outer membrane where it forms a double layer to protect the bacteria. Without the defense barrier, the bacteria will be susceptible to antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance has been an extremely big issue in World Health and I’ve noticed that many different research has been performed in order to address this issue since it is the cause for millions of illnesses and thousands of deaths each year. Reading other research where scientist try to inactivate the bacteria, it’s interesting how the researchers in this study came up with such an idea where the bacteria membrane itself should be prevented.

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