New diagnostic approach rapidly identifies the right antibiotics

Patients with bacterial infections who are promptly diagnosed and treated with the most effective antibiotic fare better than those who wait. But current methods of identifying which drug will kill the pathogen take days ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Crossing borders and growing resistance: a superbug from south Asia

Using whole genome sequencing, researchers have been able to trace the origins and global spread of a multi-drug resistant, community Staphylococcus aureus lineage from the Indian subcontinent, known as the Bengal Bay clone.


Turning to old remedies for new health challenges

The last thing anyone wants during a stay in the hospital is a hospital-acquired infection. Nosocomial infections, as they are called, are on the rise as more pathogens become resistant to drugs currently available. One pathogen ...

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of antibiotics. It is a specific type of drug resistance. Antibiotic resistance evolves via natural selection acting upon random mutation, but it can also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange. If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug. The term antimicrobial resistance is sometimes used to explicitly encompass organisms other than bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols. This can aid in implanting artificial genes into the microorganism. If the resistance gene is linked with the gene to be implanted, the antibiotic can be used to kill off organisms that lack the new gene.

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