Friday, 17 May 2013

Antibiotic resistance news

New scientific research published in the journal PLoS Biology shows that bacteria can evolve resistance more quickly when stronger antibiotics are used.

Researchers from the University of Exeter and Kiel University in Germany treated E. coli with different combinations of antibiotics in laboratory experiments.The researchers found that the rate of evolution of antibiotic resistance speeds up when potent treatments are given because resistant bacterial cells flourish most during the most aggressive therapies.

This happens because too potent a treatment eliminates the non-resistant cells, creating a lack of competition that allows resistant bacteria to multiply quickly. Those cells go on to create copies of resistance genes that help them rapidly reduce the effectiveness of the drugs. In tests this effect could even cause E.coli to grow fastest in the most aggressive antibiotic treatments.

To read more, see the University of Exeter research brief.

Posted by Tim Sandle