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: New compounds protect nervous system from the structural damage of MS

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

Thanks, fruit flies, for that pleasing beer scent

Oct 09, 2014

The familiar smell of beer is due in part to aroma compounds produced by common brewer's yeast. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Cell Reports on October 9th have discovered why the ye ...

Recommended for you

Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved

Feb 27, 2015

From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting ...

Neurons controlling appetite made from skin cells

Feb 27, 2015

Researchers have for the first time successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight ...

Quality control for adult stem cell treatment

Feb 27, 2015

A team of European researchers has devised a strategy to ensure that adult epidermal stem cells are safe before they are used as treatments for patients. The approach involves a clonal strategy where stem cells are collected ...

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.