In modern-day life, there are new challenges emerging every other day for health professionals. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is becoming more and more difficult. In the midst of this, issues within healthcare practices are also arising. For example, resistant bacteria is one of the biggest threat to public health right now.
Up till now, prescribing antibiotics was a common practice. However, the researchers were not aware of how the cure itself would become a problem itself. Not only does resistant bacteria mean that there is a need for developing more antibiotics but also a possible comeback of many issues.
This includes diseases that were once longer life-threatening such as tuberculosis. In addition, some of the studies already highlight how common bacteria that cause Urinary tract infection are no longer treatable.
Consequently, health professionals are advising a restriction in prescribing and taking of antibiotics. According to the majority of research, taking too many antibiotics is mainly responsible for the creation of resistant bacteria.
Now, a new study highlights a previously unknown mechanism which can also contribute to the issue. Scientists at ETH Zurich state that it is important to target the spread of resistant bacteria alongside preventing their creation.
In addition, in their lab rodent model, they also explore further on the behavior of such bacteria in the absence of any medication. Their findings appear in the journal Nature.
Resistance Spreads From One Resistant Bacteria To Another
According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic resistance is one of the leading problems globally. It is one of the few issues that are prevalent in every country. Therefore, understanding the mechanism behind them is very important.
Till now, the scientists knew that resistance to different antibiotics spreads through genes from one bacterium to another. There are two ways these genes can transfer – spontaneous mutation and horizontal gene transfer.
After acquiring these genes by either of the ways, bacteria become more powerful. Consequently, many are able to inactivate an antibiotic with enzymes. Secondly, they can also stop and get rid of an antibiotic from the cell.
Using antibiotics in such a situation get rid of the bacteria that are not resistant. However, that still leaves behind the ones that are not affected. This is why there are restrictions on antibiotics since it is leading to the spread of resistant genes and creating harmful infections.
The new study shows that such measures may not be enough. This is because a type of bacteria known as ‘persisters’ survives regardless of such efforts. These are precisely the bacteria which go into a dormant state. In the study, the researchers look at salmonella.
Resistance Spreads Even With Limitation On Antibiotics
In their lab mice model, the researchers did an examination of the survival of resistant salmonella in the absence of antibiotics. Perhaps the biggest finding of the study was that salmonella bacteria can transfer-resistant genes to all receptive species. This also includes bacteria present in the gut.
Therefore, there is a need to develop a mechanism which hinders the transfer of resistant genes in the first place. The team hopes to investigate further on this issue and include other farm animals in their upcoming tests.