Researchers believe that there is still hope against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They discovered that some really strong antibiotics can be successful against these bacteria.
Scientists found that these antibiotics had to bind to bacteria to destroy it. Thus, if they enhance the binding mechanism of antibiotics, they would be able to rip the bacteria. They revealed in the journal Scientific Reports that they were applying their discoveries to create stronger antibiotics.
It happens often that bacteria acquire resistance to certain drugs. This is caused by certain mutations that occur in the bacteria which offer immunity to those drugs. These mutations usually consist of molecular changes in the cells of the bacteria which either destroy the antibiotics or prevent them from entering the bacteria.
Antibiotics are normally shaped so that they can enter bacteria. However, bacteria which develop mutations change their form and no longer allow for the antibiotics to attach. As expected, it is incredibly difficult to treat such mutated bacteria. Only in United States, around 23,000 people die from such infections every year.
In an effort to create stronger drugs, scientists at University College in London studied how antibiotic treatments usually affect bacteria. They studied the mechanisms of several antibiotics, such as vancomycin and oritavancin, which is a modified and much stronger version of vancomycin.
They discovered that the modified antibiotic used a different killing method which acts within 15 minutes, as compared with the non-modified version, which might not work until after 24 hours since it was administered.
The molecules of oritavancin form clusters that shelter in the surface of the bacterial cells. When several clusters gather, they distance from one another, and this causes the bacteria to be torn apart. This explains how this modified drug can kill bacteria so quickly, as compared to other antibiotics. Scientists are now trying to apply the same mechanism to other drugs and see if their performance against antibiotic-resistant bacteria improves.
If their endeavor proves successful, it means that the creation of stronger drugs is possible. This means that the solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria is just around the corner. Treatments would improve and these new enhanced antibiotics would help people and reduce the numbers of victims of the dreadful bacteria.
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