Plants may be transmitting superbugs to people

Antibiotic-resistant infections are a threat to global public health, food safety and an economic burden. To prevent these infections, it is critical to understand how antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their genes are transmitted ...

Antibiotic resistance in spore-forming probiotic bacteria

New research has found that six probiotic Bacillus strains are resistant to several antibiotics. Genetic analysis of other Bacillus strains has shown genes that contribute to antibiotic resistance towards various types of ...

Detecting bacteria such as E. coli in minutes

A discovery by researchers at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick offers a new technology for detecting bacteria in minutes by 'zapping' the bacteria with electricity.

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of antibiotics. It is a specific type of drug resistance. Antibiotic resistance evolves via natural selection acting upon random mutation, but it can also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange. If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug. The term antimicrobial resistance is sometimes used to explicitly encompass organisms other than bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols. This can aid in implanting artificial genes into the microorganism. If the resistance gene is linked with the gene to be implanted, the antibiotic can be used to kill off organisms that lack the new gene.

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