Scientists reveal how to make antibiotics stronger against drug-resistant bacteria

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have discovered they can make antibiotics effective against drug resistance bacteria by disrupting the bacteria's cell-to-cell communication and ability to latch on to each other.

The study was led by Yang Liang, PhD, an assistant professor at the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences at NTU. Dr. Liang and his colleagues found a community of bacteria, known as biofilm, can resist antibiotics, but disrupting the biofilms allowed the antibiotics to do their job.

The team disrupted the biofilms by giving mice infected with the common bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa an antibiotic and an FDA-approved drug that disrupts cell-to-cell communication.

They discovered only mice treated with a combination of the anti-biofilm compound and antibiotics were completely eradicated of their infection.

The research represents a major breakthrough in combating growing concerns surrounding antibiotic resistance. The findings could lead to new treatment options for physicians treating patients with chronic and persistent bacterial infections.

"The [CDC] estimates that over 60 percent of all bacterial infections are related to biofilms," said Dr. Liang. "Our study has shown that by disrupting the cell-to-cell communication between bacteria and their ability to latch on to each other, we can compromise the biofilms, leaving the bacteria vulnerable and easily killed by antibiotics."



More articles on biofilms:
Clustered bacteria may be the more dangerous culprit for antibiotic-resistant HAIs
Marine anti-biofilm compounds may combat drug resistance in HAIs
Biotechnology company develops potential biofilm-busting treatment for infections

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