UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae readily infects hospital patients and is becoming more resistant to any treatment every year. Often even the so-called carbapenems, which doctors usually resort to when other drugs fail, do not help.
Scientists are looking for new superantibiotics or their replacement, but at the same time they are also studying superbacteria themselves: understanding the mechanism of antibiotic resistance would help to get around it. A team of researchers from Imperial College London discovered one such mechanism during a search.
Antibiotics usually enter the K. pneumoniae bacteria through the superficial “doorways” —the cell pores. Experts examined the structure of the pores and showed that by closing these inlets, K. pneumoniae becomes resistant to many drugs because they can no longer penetrate and kill the microbe.
The researchers compared the structures of the bacteria K. pneumoniae resistant to carbapenems with the structures of non-resistant bacteria of the same species and found that the former have modified or missing versions of the protein that creates pores in the cell wall. The result is much smaller pores that block the ingress of the drug.
The bad news is that any medications that counteract this protective mechanism are likely to be “left behind the door.” However, scientists expect to come up with a solution that will still “crack the lock.”
By the way, this protective mechanism is not so beneficial for bacteria. Through reduced pores, they receive less food and grow worse. This suggests that bacteria see the Dean number in the enemy’s antibiotics and make sacrifices to combat it.
And apparently – this is the right strategy if Klebsiella is successfully distributed. Scientists expect to find at least the right strategy to stop this process.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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