They discovered a weakness in some antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Queensland researchers have discovered that a mutation allows some Escherichia coli bacteria cause serious illness in humans while other bacteria are harmless, a discovery that could help combat antibiotic resistance.

Teacher Mark Schembri and etc. Nhu Nguyen from the University of Queensland Institute of Molecular Biology and Associate Professor Sumaira Hasnain from Maternal studies They found a mutation in the mechanism pulp production bacteria E. coli.

In a statement, Schembri explains that research concluded that the mutation gives the green light to affected E. coli bacteria to further spread throughout the body and infect more organs, such as the liver, spleen and brain. “Our discovery explains why some E. coli bacteria can cause sepsis, neonatal meningitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs), while other E. coli bacteria can live harmlessly in our bodies,” Professor Schembri said.

“Good” bacteria produce cellulose, but “bad” bacteria do not.

Bacteria produce many substances on the surface of their cells that can stimulate or weaken the immune system guest. “The mutations we identified prevented E. coli from producing the carbohydrate cellulose on the surface of cells, and this led to an increase in inflammation in the intestinal tract “the host,” Professor Schembri said, adding: “The result was a breakdown of the intestinal barrier, so the bacteria were able to spread throughout the body.”

Using models that replicate human disease, the team showed that the inability to produce cellulose makes the bacteria more virulent, causing more severe disease, including infection of the brain in meningitis and bladder infection in urinary tract infections.

Assistant professor Hasnain He said understanding how bacteria spread from intestinal reservoirs to the rest of the body is important for preventing infections: “Our discovery helps explain why certain types of E. coli become more dangerous and provides an explanation for the emergence of other types.” virulent and invasive bacteria,” he said.

Professor Schembri asserted that E. coli was the most dominant pathogen associated with bacterial resistance to antibiotics: “In 2019 alone, almost 5 million deaths worldwide were associated with bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and E. coli was responsible for more than 800,000 of these deaths” and adds: “Since the threat superbugs which are resistant to all available antibiotics, finding new ways to prevent this route of infection is important to reduce the number of infections in humans.

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