The battle against “war bugs'' or antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) has been claimed to be one of the biggest global health challenges of the 20th and 21st century. Though, in recent findings at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai researchers found a way to make a natural defense mechanism fight and manage the previously seeming immortal bacterial infections. This natural defense mechanism is called cyclic oligonucleotide-based antiphage signaling system (CBASS). This defense mechanism is used by certain bacteria, like E.Coli, to protect themselves from viral attacks. The researchers used the CBASS-associated protein 5 (CAP 5) to understand how it could potentially be used to control bacterial infections. CAP 5 becomes activated by cyclic nucleotides to destroy the bacterias own DNA. In the past a multitude of other approaches have been tested including modifying existing antibiotics, creating new antibiotics, and also finding different ways of delivering these medications to the system. Though this potential solution to ARB still needs to be tested on more varieties of bacteria, it is a big stepping stone towards an answer of how to tame these bacteria.
This topic of antibiotic resistance is very intriguing to me for the fact that most people are severely undereducated in the way that antibiotic drugs work and how the bacteria they are fighting can become resistant. The importance of discovering a way to treat ARB is vital for the prevention of the spread of viruses in not only our country but across the globe, and the fact that these researchers from Mount Sinai have found a minimally invasive way of doing so by using naturally occurring mechanisms in the body is very intriguing.