A team of Canadian researchers says they have developed a synthetic molecule that could be the key to ending antibiotic resistance, one of the key health issues of the coming years.
Antibiotic resistance is a serious and globally recognized problem. According to a report from a special commission established in the UK in 2014, drug-resistant bacteria could kill 10 million people by 2050. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria infect 2 million people every year in the United States alone. United, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and at least 23,000 of these cases are fatal. In addition, WHO reports that there are approximately 480,000 cases of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis worldwide each year. In short, antibiotic resistance is a problem that we must solve as quickly as possible. Fortunately, a number of groups are working on the issue, with a variety of approaches.
In a study published in Scientific Reports in early November, a team of researchers from UdeM’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine in Canada said it had explored a method that could block the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. Researchers here focused on preventing a mechanism for encoding antibiotic resistance genes on plasmids – which are DNA fragments that can carry genes that encode proteins that make bacteria resistant to drugs. . Specifically, they discovered where the transfer of plasmids takes place. In doing so, they have been able to design more powerful chemical molecules that reduce the transfer of gene-carrying plasmids that are resistant to antibiotics.
Meanwhile, other researchers are focusing on a better understanding of how bacteria work in order to develop methods to make them more susceptible to antibiotics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already invested more than $ 14 million to fund research on the subject, and we may soon see these efforts come to fruition. It will take time, of course, but it could help speed up the pace of new drug production.