It is a proven fact that micro organism are more and more growing antibiotic resistance. Information campaigns have raised consciousness among the many common public that the principle reason for antibiotic resistance is the excessive ‘choice stress’ on micro organism resulting from large and inappropriate use of antibiotics in each people and animals.
But this isn’t the one rationalization. A set of mechanisms in micro organism, generally known as horizontal gene transfers, are additionally concerned. Bacteria are capable of alternate DNA materials with one another. Some of the DNA materials that’s exchanged doesn’t contribute something particular, whereas some may confer antibiotic resistance. Understanding the mechanisms by which the fabric carrying resistance genes is transferred may assist scientists determine a brand new solution to combat resistant micro organism.
This DNA materials can both be launched into the atmosphere (the fabric is then free for all different micro organism to include), or handed on by way of direct contact between two micro organism, a course of known as conjugation. A 3rd route of gene transmission makes use of bacteriophages, or small viruses in micro organism, that are capable of move their DNA from one bacterium to a different.
Bacteriophages: A vector of resistance?
Over the final decade, a query has divided the scientific community: are bacteriophages, particularly these utilized in phage therapy, able to transferring antibiotic resistance genes to micro organism? Although a 2013 scientific article revealed in Nature discovered that bacteriophages may certainly accomplish that, this reply has not put the matter to relaxation.
The controversy caught the eye of a group of INRAE researchers specialised in bacteriophages. The scientists carried out metagenomic analysis (evaluation of the entire genome) on bacteriophages from pig fecal samples of 14 farms. Using in-depth pc analyses, the researchers finely characterised the DNA of all these bacteriophages and got here to a transparent conclusion: the bacteriophages studied don’t possess a single antibiotic resistance gene. They can’t due to this fact provide resistance genes to micro organism.
This analysis sheds mild on the problem of antibiotic resistance, a key public well being concern. Bacteriophages proceed for use as allies within the combat towards antibiotic-resistant micro organism by means of phage remedy. This apply, which isn’t but widespread, makes use of bacteriophages on sufferers contaminated with micro organism which are immune to all antibiotics. Bacteriophages assault and destroy the resistant micro organism, with out the potential of passing on resistance genes to different bacteria. The remedy provides hope within the combat towards the rising phenomenon of antibiotic resistance.
Maud Billaud et al, Analysis of viromes and microbiomes from pig fecal samples reveals that phages and prophages not often carry antibiotic resistance genes, ISME Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s43705-021-00054-8
Bacterial viruses: Faithful allies towards antibiotic resistance (2021, December 10)
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