Latest Research on Antibiotic Resistance: Jan – 2020

Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms

Bacteria that adhere to implanted medical devices or damaged tissue can encase themselves during a hydrated matrix of polysaccharide and protein, and form a slimy layer referred to as a biofilm. Antibiotic resistance of bacteria within the biofilm mode of growth contributes to the chronicity of infections like those related to implanted medical devices. The mechanisms of resistance in biofilms are different from the now familiar plasmids, transposons, and mutations that confer innate resistance to individual bacterial cells. In biofilms, resistance seems to depend upon multicellular strategies. We summarise the features of biofilm infections, review emerging mechanisms of resistance, and discuss potential therapies. [1]

The Crisis in Antibiotic Resistance

The synthesis of huge numbers of antibiotics over the past three decades has caused complacency about the threat of bacterial resistance. Bacteria became immune to antimicrobial agents as a results of chromosomal changes or the exchange of genetic material via plasmids and transposons. Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and staphylococci, organisms that cause respiratory and cutaneous infections, and members of the Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas families, organisms that cause diarrhea, urinary infection, and sepsis, are now immune to virtually all of the older antibiotics. The extensive use of antibiotics within the community and hospitals has fueled this crisis. Mechanisms like antibiotic control programs, better hygiene, and synthesis of agents with improved antimicrobial activity got to be adopted so as to limit bacterial resistance. [2]

Antibiotic resistance of bacterial biofilms

A biofilm may be a structured consortium of bacteria embedded during a self-produced polymer matrix consisting of polysaccharide, protein and DNA. Bacterial biofilms cause chronic infections because they show increased tolerance to antibiotics and disinfectant chemicals also as resisting phagocytosis and other components of the body’s defense system . The persistence of, for instance , staphylococcal infections associated with foreign bodies is thanks to biofilm formation. Likewise, chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection in CF patients is caused by biofilm-growing mucoid strains. Characteristically, gradients of nutrients and oxygen exist from the highest to rock bottom of biofilms and these gradients are related to decreased bacterial metabolic activity and increased doubling times of the bacterial cells; it’s these more or less dormant cells that are liable for a number of the tolerance to antibiotics. [3]

Personal clinical history predicts antibiotic resistance of urinary tract infections

Antibiotic resistance is prevalent among the bacterial pathogens causing tract infections. However, antimicrobial treatment is usually prescribed ‘empirically’, within the absence of antibiotic susceptibility testing, risking mismatched and thus ineffective treatment. Here, linking a 10-year longitudinal data set of over 700,000 community-acquired tract infections with over 5,000,000 individually resolved records of antibiotic purchases, we identify strong associations of antibiotic resistance with the demographics, records of past urine cultures and history of drug purchases of the patients. [4]

Acquisition of Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli Exposed To a Locally Produced Herbal Drug

Background: Antimicrobial resistance poses great threats to the treatment and eradication of pathogenic microbes. An increasing number of infectious diseases are now becoming difficult to treat within the developing world, but the basis of the issues is vaguely known.

Aims: This study aimed toward determining the phenotypic properties of Escherichia coli isolates exposed to a locally prepared drug, usually called Goko Alcoholic Bitters (GAB), a commonly consumed herbal medication in Nigeria. [5]


[1] Stewart, P.S. and Costerton, J.W., 2001. Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in biofilms. The lancet, 358(9276), (Web Link)

[2] Neu, H.C., 1992. The crisis in antibiotic resistance. Science, 257(5073), (Web Link)

[3] Høiby, N., Bjarnsholt, T., Givskov, M., Molin, S. and Ciofu, O., 2010. Antibiotic resistance of bacterial biofilms. International journal of antimicrobial agents, 35(4), (Web Link)

[4] Personal clinical history predicts antibiotic resistance of urinary tract infections
Idan Yelin, Olga Snitser, Gal Novich, Rachel Katz, Ofir Tal, Miriam Parizade, Gabriel Chodick, Gideon Koren, Varda Shalev & Roy Kishony
Nature Medicine volume 25, (Web Link)

[5] Pius, M., Enoch, A. and Francisca, U. (2017) “Acquisition of Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli Exposed To a Locally Produced Herbal Drug”, Microbiology Research Journal International, 22(2), (Web Link)

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