Drug-resistant bacteria can be controlled

Apr 05, 2007

U.S. medical scientists have discovered a technique that might allow them to control drug-resistant bacteria.

The Harvard Medical School researchers discovered certain combinations of antibiotics favor the growth of non-resistant strains at the expense of resistant ones. That finding might help combat the spread of such microbes, as well as shed light on microbial ecology and evolution.

Roy Kishony, an assistant professor of systems biology, and colleagues discovered that antagonistic drug combinations, in which the drugs' cumulative effects are less than when they are given separately, show such properties. At sub-lethal concentrations a mixture of doxycycline and ciprofloxacin preferentially selects for wild-type Escherichia coli bacteria over that of a doxycyline-resistant strain in a laboratory culture.

The finding, said Kishony, is surprising and counter-intuitive, since the use of antibiotic drugs is responsible for the generation and selection of resistant bacterial pathogen strains. But the study showed that with the right combinations and concentrations, non-resistant bacterial strains can be selected.

The research is detailed in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Human stem cell model reveals molecular cues critical to neurovascular unit formation

Related Stories

Bacteria connect to each other and exchange nutrients

Feb 23, 2015

It is well-known that bacteria can support each others' growth and exchange nutrients. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, and their colleagues at the universities ...

Researcher discovers new salmonella serotype

Jan 19, 2015

Lubbock is known for many things. Some of them are reasons to celebrate, like being the home of Buddy Holly. Some portray the city in negative ways, like dust storms.

The quality of light

Dec 30, 2014

Rapidly growing bacteria that live in the ocean and can manufacture their own food hold promise as host organisms for producing chemicals, biofuels, and medicine. Researchers at Pacific Northwest National ...

Recommended for you

Scientists turn blood into neural cells

May 21, 2015

Scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make adult sensory neurons from human patients simply by having them roll up their sleeve and providing a blood sample.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.