Saturday, 21 January 2017

Scientists examine bacterium found 1,000 feet underground


Researchers find a bacterium 1,000 feet underground (called Paenibacillus) that is resistant to 18 different antibiotics and uses identical methods of defense as similar species found in soils. The scientists identified five novel pathways that were of potential clinical concern.

The results show the bacterium is resistant to 18 different antibiotics and uses identical methods of defense as similar species found in soils. This suggests that the evolutionary pressure to conserve these resistance genes has existed for millions of years -- not just since antibiotics were first used to treat disease.

Among the different ways that the bacteria could be resistant to antibiotics, the scientists identified five novel pathways that were of potential clinical concern. Finding these new pathways is particularly valuable, as it gives researchers time to develop new drugs to combat this type of resistance, potentially decades before it will become a problem for doctors and their patients.

For further details see:

Andrew C. Pawlowski, Wenliang Wang, Kalinka Koteva, Hazel A. Barton, Andrew G. McArthur, Gerard D. Wright. A diverse intrinsic antibiotic resistome from a cave bacterium.Nature Communications, 2016; 7: 13803 DOI:10.1038/ncomms13803

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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