This kind of studies helps to develop future strategies for infection control.
"Perhaps, one day, we'll be able to manipulate infections so that bacterial cooperation is destabilized and
infections are resolved, "said Dr. Peter Greenberg, UW professor of microbiology and one of the authors of the study.
B. cenocepacia, for example, is an environmental bacterium that causes devastating infections in patients with cystic fibrosis
(CF) or with compromised immune systems.
The more antibiotic resistant cells within a bacterial population produce and share small molecules with less resistant
cells, making them more resistant to antibiotic killing, according to Dr. Miguel Valvano,
a Professor holding a Chair of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the Centre for Infection and Immunity,
Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom, and Omar El-Halfawy, PhD candidate, and the first author of the research.
These small molecules, which are derived from modified amino acids (the building blocks used
to make proteins), protect not only the more sensitive cells of B. cenocepacia but also other bacteria including a
highly prevalent CF pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli.
"These findings reveal a new mechanism of antimicrobial resistance based on chemical communication among bacterial cells
by small molecules that protect against the effect of antibiotics," says Dr. Valvano.
"This paves the way to design novel drugs to block the effects of these chemicals, thus effectively reducing
the burden of antimicrobial resistance."
"These small molecules can be utilized and produced by almost all bacteria with limited exceptions, so we can regard
these small molecules as a universal language that can be understood by most bacteria," says El-Halfawy,
who called the findings exciting.
"The other way that Burkholderia communicates its high level of resistance is
by releasing small proteins to mop up, and bind to lethal antibiotics, thus reducing their effectiveness."
The next step is to find ways to inhibit this phenomenon, researchers say.
Fascinating Gigantic Creatures Today Totally Extinct 13,000 Years Ago Coexisted With Early Americans
The Ice Age world was, geologically, just a moment ago. Fascinating but today extinct giant animals, like mammoths,
mastodons and giant ground sloths, coexisted with early Americans in those days....
For millions of years, these animals survived, living in temperate climates and on the wind-swept lands of the frozen north – great
beasts weighing as much as eight tons and bearing tusks up to 16 feet long.
Monster Crocodile That Consumed At Least A Few of Our Ancestors
A gigantic crocodile, more than 27 feet in length, which was large enough to swallow humans,
once co-existed with our ancestors in East Africa, say researchers.
Today it is an extinct species from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of the Turkana Basin in Kenya.
A Paradise Where The Gods Once Lived
This wonder of nature, about 200 million years old, is half a kilometer long and got its name from the
verdant reeds growing outside it, which are used to make flutes.
It has been a famous tourist attraction for over 1200 years.
The temperature inside this water-eroded cave is about 20°C.
Labirynth Of The Ice Giants - Almost Not Of This World!
Let us enter a magical, underground realm, with long history stretching back over 50 to 100 million years...
Certainly, there are over one million caves on our planet but only very few of them are ice caves.
Magnificent underground labyrinth...