A study conducted by IBiS, USA and the Virgen Macarena Hospital in Seville has revealed the adaptation of bacteria to antibiotics.


Research from the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville (IBiS), together with researchers from the United States and the Virgen Macarena University Hospital, has shown that greater activation of the bacterial DNA repair pathway could make it easier for bacteria that cause infection to adapt to certain antibiotics.

The study was conducted by the Microbial Resistance and Complex Infections research group, in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Department of Microbiology and the Virgen Macarena University Hospital, according to a U.S. press release. The work is published in the journal Drug Resistance News.

Similarly, antibiotics are “essential medicines” to prevent and treat infections caused by bacteria. Recent years have seen a rapid increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified as a “major global public health problem.”

To this end, the research focuses on combating antibiotic resistance by finding strategies to block the development of this resistance in order to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics. The focus has therefore been on a bacterial response associated with DNA repair, known as the SOS response.

The SOS reaction is considered “promising” for the development of new compounds that prevent bacterial resistance and improve the bactericidal activity of antimicrobial agents such as quinolones, a group of antimicrobials that have DNA synthesizing function.

The study concluded that gastrointestinal bacteria such as Escherichia coli exhibit heterogeneous activation of the SOS response. Lead author of the study, Sarah Diaz, noted that bacteria that have a “stronger SOS response have a greater ability to adapt and resist antibiotic treatment.

Another previous study by the group showed that eliminating this reaction in Escherichia coli increases its sensitivity to some antibiotics. The author of the paper and co-investigator responsible for the group, José Manuel Rodríguez Martínez, emphasized that “this represents a significant step towards a better understanding of bacterial resistance and contributes to the development of effective treatments for infections.”

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