General, Research, Technology

Bacteria are able to stop their growth in order to escape from antibiotics.

In the 20th century, antibiotics were considered effective.anti-bacterial infections. However, today pathogenic microbes quickly develop resistance to these substances and sometimes even stop growing during the period of activity of the drug, in order to later restore the colony and restart the disease. Recently, a group of scientists from the University of Surrey (England) found that some bacteria are literally able to forget how to grow, thereby ensuring safety during the killer work of antibiotics. And this "forgetfulness" begins at the genetic level.

E. coli (Escherichia coli) can hide from antibiotics

About the new discovery of scientists was told in the scientificPNAS edition. While studying a strain of Escherichia coli (Escherichia coli), researchers found that some of them have mutations in the ydcl gene, due to which the bacteria seem to forget how to grow. Subsequently, they become small and slow, which is why antibiotics simply cannot find and destroy them. In fact, these bacteria become drug resistant and can multiply over time to restart the infectious disease. It turns out that now, in some cases, treating a person with antibiotics is ineffective.

How is antibiotic resistance produced?

In the course of how bacteria carefully hide fromantibiotics, they develop even greater resistance to them. Scientists now know that pathogens are hiding from drugs due to changes in the ydcl gene. It is likely that in the future a technology will be created that will not allow germs to hibernate. Ideally, thanks to this, it will be possible to thoroughly treat infectious diseases and prevent their re-manifestation due to the suddenly "revived" bacteria.

See also: Discovered a new method for the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics

Mortality in the world may increase

If scientists fail to do this, then by 2050mortality due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria can increase markedly. According to the World Health Organization, 56.9 million people died in 2016 in the world. In the future, this number may increase due to high mortality from cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as well as the fact that antibiotics will cease to be effective against serious diseases. At the moment, because of this, 700,000 people die every year, but after several decades this figure can reach 10 million people a year.

More people will die in the future due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria

But antibiotic resistance is producedvery dangerous bacteria. For example, in 2019, a strain of bacteria of the genus Salmonella (Salmonella Typhimurium) was found in the African Republic of Congo, which is not afraid of any of the drugs that exist today. Their stability is due to the fact that they have lost the flagella necessary for movement and have become invisible to human immune cells. Because of this, now many people are at risk of developing salmonella, which, although it disappears after 2-7 days of fever, vomiting and pain in the stomach, can still be complicated and cause a person to die.

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Scientists urgently need to come up with mitigation methodsbacteria or develop new types of drugs. Fortunately, some researchers are already creating alternatives to antibiotics. You can read more about them in our special material.