by Molly Sargen Antibiotics are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of microbes, including bacteria and fungi. These drugs work by blocking essential processes like protein production, DNA replication, and cell division. After Alexander Fleming’s serendipitous discovery of Penicillin, antibiotics became a central feature of medical care. Today, antibiotics are used to treat a wide variety of infections and prevent new infections during invasive … Continue reading Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance
by Molly Sargenfigures by Molly Sargen, Buse Aktaş, and Aparna Nathan COVID-19 is unarguably devastating from any perspective. Even as we struggle to overcome the present challenges of the pandemic, COVID-19 is paving the way for other infectious agents to cause damage in the future. Although SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that cannot be treated with antibiotics, antibiotic usage has significantly increased throughout the pandemic. With … Continue reading How COVID-19 is Shaping Antibiotic Resistance
We can fight antibiotic resistance using phages that detach hair-like structures from bacterial cells to slow the spread of antibiotic resistance DNA. Continue reading Phages Can Help Slow the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance
Researchers developed a molecule that targets bacterial cells by two different mechanisms–attacking the cell membrane and disabling folate synthesis. This molecule seems to prevent bacteria from developing antibiotic-resistance. Continue reading Antibiotic uses multiple mechanisms to avoid resistance
In order to combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, a group of scientists from MIT are using artificial intelligence to discover new and effective antibiotics. They were able to predict a powerful new antibiotic compound that is effective against many dangerous pathogens. Continue reading Artificial Intelligence – our new MVP against infections?
by Gregory Brunette figures by Daniel Utter Every year, new biology students dig for tiny, bacteria-infecting viruses called phages. Short for bacteriophages, these ubiquitous viruses thrive unseen in the world around us, replicating endlessly through their host bacteria. Phages outnumber all other living organisms on Earth; and their overwhelming diversity presents a challenge to the researchers who study them. In a program administered by Dr. … Continue reading Superbug Treatments Live in the Dirt
Our skin is a protective barrier to bacterial infection, but damage to the skin allows bacteria to enter. Normally, our immune system kills the bacteria and allows wounds to heal. However, certain diseases can overload the immune system and lead to heavy infection. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat heavy bacterial infection, but bacteria can develop drug resistance after too much exposure. A team at … Continue reading The Quest for Better Bandages Turns to Nanofibers
by Francesca Tomasi figures by Aparna Nathan Too Much of a Good Thing? Ninety years ago, Alexander Fleming happened upon the chemical compound penicillin and sparked a medical revolution. It was a serendipitous occasion – Fleming had been growing plates of bacteria in his lab when he noticed some mold growing on one of them. Just some classic contamination, he probably thought, ready to discard … Continue reading Less of the Same: Rebooting the antibiotic pipeline
by Veerasak “Jeep” Srisuknimit figures by Jovana Andrejevic Our time with antibiotics is running out. In 2016, a woman in Nevada died from a bacterial infection caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae that was resistant to all available antibiotics. Bacteria that is resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, has been discovered on pig farms in China. Bacteria have been evolving to resist antibiotics faster than … Continue reading Bacteriophage: A solution to our antibiotics problem?
Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, bacterial infections were the leading cause of death worldwide. Now, treating infections is often a routine procedure – simply requiring a doctor’s visit and a prescribed antibiotic. However, this simple routine has become marred by the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics is fueling the rise of resistant bacteria. In response to antibiotic exposure, bacteria have evolved … Continue reading Expanding the Antibiotic Arsenal: A New Drug of Last Resort