E. Coli can develop antibiotic resistance in just days, researchers find

Antibiotics can stimulate rapid bacterial mutations causing drug-resistance in just days, according to a new research article published in Nature Ecology & Evolutionature Ecology & Evolution.

For the study, researchers exposed Escherichia coli bacteria to eight rounds of antibiotics over four days in a laboratory setting. With each round of treatment, the bacteria's resistance to the drugs grew, as researchers expected.

However, they also found E. coli cells mutated at higher rates after antibiotic exposure and grew three-times the size of an E. coli sample not exposed to the drugs. When the antibiotics were removed from the scenario, the genetic mutations remained.

Sign up for our FREE E-Weekly for more coverage like this sent to your inbox!

"Our research suggests there could be added benefits for E. coli bacteria when they evolve resistance to clinical levels of antibiotics," said lead author Robert Beardmore, PhD, a professor in biosciences at the University of Exeter in England. "It's often said that Darwinian evolution is slow, but nothing could be further from the truth, particularly when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics. Bacteria have a remarkable ability to rearrange their DNA and this can stop drugs working, sometimes in a matter of days."

E. coli cause diarrhea, stomach pain and kidney failure. To learn more about the bacteria, click here.

More articles on infection control: 
Accepted endoscope reprocessing regimens aren't always effective, study shows 
Don't want to get sick? Get some sleep, study says 
Agencies launch new investigation of Detroit Medical Center's central sterile department

 

 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers