According tomedia New Atlas, some bacteria have the dismal ability to make a comeback after the infection is removed. This is due in large part to the small “remaining” flora that can escape drug attacks, and new colonies have since emerged. Now, scientists at the University of Surrey have identified genetic mutations that convert them into retention bacteria by making them forgetful.
In some ways, infection sisdoning is a digital game – even if it’s beneficial in a smaller place, you can get a sufficient number of some type of bacteria in one place, and they can cause health problems. Antibiotics kill most of them, but it’s hard to completely remove them. A few will survive, but by then, bacteria are usually too few to cause harm.
Previous studies have shown that bacteria enter a hibernating state in order to survive a round of antibiotic attacks. This slows them down, but makes them wait for the chance to reproduce again. This not only leads to persistent infections, but also to antimicrobial resistance, which is an emerging threat to public health.
In the new study, researchers have found a possible genetic explanation for how bacteria become the remaining bacteria. The team examined E. coli and found mutations in a gene called ydcl that produces more persistent cells than usual. It sounds strange, and the researchers say the bacteria “forgot” how to grow.
“We found that the remaining bacteria experienced “memory loss” but forgot what they were to grow,” said Suz Hindley Wilson, the study’s lead author. This ‘forgetfulness’ means they become smaller, slow and difficult to treat with antibiotics. After antibiotic treatment, remaining bacteria is usually the cause of the recurrence of bacterial diseases and is a source of further development of AMR. “
Researchers say a deeper understanding of remaining bacteria could help develop new potentially drug-resistant superbugs therapies. This is important – some studies suggest that, if left unaddressed, superbugs could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.
“The scientific community urgently needs to learn as much about AMR as possible and develop techniques to address it,” said John joe McFadden, author of the study. Our discovery of the remaining bacteria and the identification of the ydcI gene mutation of e. coli bacteria are a major step forward in the fight against AMR, giving us a deeper understanding of how the remaining bacteria work. “
The study was published in the journal PNAS.