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Researchers Looking for Clues to Fight Rise of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Researchers are investigating how one superbug adapts to combat an antibiotic of last refuge – To fight the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, hoping to seek out evidence that can prolong the drug’s effectiveness.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center and Rice University at Houston administered experiments to trace the biochemical changes that vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) underwent as they adapted to struggle another antibiotic, daptomycin.

“We have to get to a stage the place we are able to contemplate how these pathogens become resistant to antibiotics so we can keep one step ahead of them,” mentioned Rice biochemist Yousif Shamoo, co-writer of a study within the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy that found VRE can acquire resistance to daptomycin in more than one way.

The stakes are excessive. In 2014, the WHO reported that antibiotic-resistant infections were on speed up to kill 10 million people per year globally by 2050.

Based on the CDC, VRE is likely one of the nation’s leading antibiotic resistance threats. The CDC estimated VRE would infect some 20,000 people in the US this year and kill 1,300 of them.

Daptomycin, an antibiotic that first became accessible in 2003, is one of the last medicine doctors can use to combat multidrug-resistant superbugs like VRE, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and glycopeptide-resistant enterococci (GRE).

Sadly, health officials documented cases of daptomycin resistance as early as 2005, and the number of cases is on the rise worldwide.

Shamoo stated one of many precept findings of the research was that a specific strain of VRE, Enterococcus faecium, has an unusually various set of methods for resisting antibiotics like daptomycin, and that variety can make treatment of infections even more difficult.

Co-drugs that target the evolution of resistance might be administered with antibiotics like daptomycin to each help patients fight off infection and stem the unfold of increasingly resistant strains of bacteria in hospitals, he said.

Study lead author Amy Prater, a Ph.D. scholar who graduated from Rice in July, confirmed that the same strain of VRE might activate different biochemical pathways to enable up to three strategies, depending upon its environment.

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Felicia Broderick

Felicia is the head of the column Medical Devices. An Electronics Engineer from the University of Michigan, Felicia, before opting for technical writing as a profession, worked at firms such as SEH, Leviton, etc. In 2016, she quit her job at Leviton and started taking writing projects as a freelancer. Gradually, she developed an interest in technical writing, and now leading a column here.

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