About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Transfer of Antibiotic Resistant Gene can Prevent it's Spread

by Rishika Gupta on November 23, 2017 at 2:28 PM
Font : A-A+

Transfer of Antibiotic Resistant Gene can Prevent it's Spread

By preventing the transfer of antibiotic resistance gene among the bacteria, the resistance and it's spread in the hospitals can be prevented found a new study published in Scientific Reports journal.

Antibiotics are also an essential part of modern medicine, as prophylactic treatment during surgeries and cancer therapy, rising resistance of bacteria presents even more of a danger.


That's why researchers are busy devising strategies to address this threat to human health - and Université de Montréal is at the forefront of the fight.

One of the ways antibiotic resistance genes spread in hospitals and in the environment is that the genes are coded on plasmids that transfer between bacteria. A plasmid is a DNA fragment found in bacteria or yeasts. It carries genes useful for bacteria, especially when these genes encode proteins that can make bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

Now a team of scientists at UdeM's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine has come up with a novel approach to block the transfer of resistance genes. The study by Bastien Casu, Tarun Arya, Benoit Bessette and Christian Baron was published in early November in Scientific Reports.

The researchers screened a library of small chemical molecules for those that bind to the TraE protein, an essential component of the plasmid transfer machinery. Analysis by X-ray crystallography revealed the exact binding site of these molecules on TraE.

Having precise information on the binding site enabled the researchers to design more potent binding molecules that, in the end, reduced the transfer of antibiotic-resistant, gene-carrying plasmids.

Baron hopes the strategy can be used to discover more inhibitors of the transfer of resistant genes. "You want to be able to find the 'soft spot' on a protein, and target it and poke it so that the protein cannot function," said Baron, the Faculty of Medicine's vice-dean of research and development.

"Other plasmids have similar proteins, some have different proteins, but I think the value of our study on TraE is that by knowing the molecular structure of these proteins we can devise methods to inhibit their function."

Building on their encouraging new data, Baron and his colleagues are now working with the medicinal chemists at UdeM's IRIC (Institut de recherche en immunologie et cancérologie) to develop the new molecules into powerful inhibitors of antibiotic resistance gene transfer. Such molecules could one day be applied in clinics in hospitals that are hotbeds of resistance, Baron hopes.

Ultimately, reducing the transfer of antibiotic-resistance plasmids could help preserve the potency of antibiotics, contributing to an overall strategy to help improve human health, he added.

"The beauty of what we are working on here is that the proteins are very similar to proteins that bacteria use to cause disease. So from what we learned about the TraE protein and about finding its 'soft spot,' we can actually apply this approach to other bacteria that cause diseases.

One of those is Helicobacter pylori, which is a gastric pathogen that causes ulcers and stomach cancers. We're working on that one specifically now, but there are many others."

It took the UdeM team four years to arrive at the findings being published now - enough time for antibiotic resistance to grow into an ever-more worrisome global problem.

UdeM pediatric physician Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, has called it "a tsunami," and Baron believes she's not exaggerating. "It's a very good image to use, because we all know it's coming. It's not like a splash in your face every single day, but we all see the tide is rising.

"They say that by 2050, 50 million people will die from antibiotic resistant infections," said the Toronto-born, German-raised researcher. "The day when we can't treat infections with antibiotics is coming. Nevertheless, people should have hope. Science will bring new ideas and new solutions to this problem. There's a big mobilization now going on in the world on this issue. I wouldn't say I feel safe, but it's clear we're making progress."

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
DNA Finger Printing MRSA - The Super Bug Drug Resistance - Antibiotic Resistance Weaver Syndrome Antibiotics Eye Infections Natural Antibiotics to Fight Bacterial Infections Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Boils - Treatment by Drugs Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Drug Resistance - Antibiotic Resistance
Drug resistance is often a problem in malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and ...
Can Antibacterial Drug Combination Combat Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is the leading cause of mortality from an infectious disease. Antibacterial drug ......
Antibiotics and Disinfectant Use may Spread Multi-drug Resistant MRSA
Antibacterial therapy and contact with infected people or their pets can lead to re-infection and .....
Phage Therapy Saves Patient With Multi-Drug Resistant Bacterial Infection
Phage therapy was used to treat a critical patient infected with multi-drug resistant strain of ......
Antibiotics are among the most used and abused medications. This article explains some general featu...
Boils - Treatment by Drugs
Diabetes patients have reduced immunity, which makes them more susceptible to skin infections like b...
DNA Finger Printing
DNA fingerprinting is a technique which helps forensic scientists and legal experts solve crimes, id...
Eye Infections
Eye infection is a common problem that often causes pain and discomfort to the eyes. Common symptoms...
MRSA - The Super Bug
MRSA infection is the most dreaded hospital or community acquired infection that can become ......
Multiple Drug Allergy Syndrome
Multiple drug allergy syndrome or multiple drug hypersensitivity syndrome is a condition that causes...
Natural Antibiotics to Fight Bacterial Infections
Fighting infections the natural way and preventing them is always more effective than consuming medi...
Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)
Enterococci are a group of gram-negative bacteria that mostly inhabit the human gut. At present ther...
Weaver Syndrome
Weaver syndrome is a genetic disorder in which children show accelerated bone growth, advanced bone ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use