Viruses don’t result in new antibiotic resistance, will be our allies in defeating pathogenic micro organism

Viruses might generally be our enemies, however they may also be our allies. When our medicines are now not efficient, viruses will be beneficial companions in defeating pathogenic micro organism. However extra importantly, viruses don’t result in new antibiotic resistance in micro organism. Such was the conclusion of an INRAE examine, printed on 25 October 2021 within the journal ISME Communications.

It’s a proven fact that an increasing number of micro organism are exhibiting antibiotic resistance. Info campaigns have raised consciousness among the many common public that the primary reason for antibiotic resistance is the excessive ‘choice stress’ on micro organism attributable to huge and inappropriate use of antibiotics in each people and animals.

However this isn’t the one clarification. A set of mechanisms in micro organism, referred to as horizontal gene transfers, are additionally concerned. Micro organism are capable of alternate DNA materials with one another. A number 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 establish a brand new approach to combat resistant micro organism.

Bacteriophages: a vector of resistance?

During the last decade, a query has divided the scientific neighborhood: are bacteriophages, particularly these utilized in phage remedy, able to transferring antibiotic resistance genes to micro organism? Though a 2013 scientific article printed in Nature discovered that bacteriophages may certainly achieve this, this reply has not put the matter to relaxation.

The controversy caught the eye of a workforce of INRAE researchers specialised in bacteriophages. The scientists performed metagenomic analysis (evaluation of the entire genome) on bacteriophages from pig fecal samples of 14 farms. Utilizing 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 gentle on the problem of antibiotic resistance, a key public well being concern. Bacteriophages proceed for use as allies within the combat in opposition to antibiotic-resistant micro organism by way of phage remedy. This follow, which isn’t but widespread, makes use of bacteriophages on sufferers contaminated with micro organism which might be immune to all antibiotics. Bacteriophages assault and destroy the resistant micro organism, with out the potential for passing on resistance genes to different micro organism. The remedy provides hope within the combat in opposition to the rising phenomenon of antibiotic resistance.


Journal reference:

Billaud, M., et al. (2021) Antibiotic therapy expands the resistance reservoir and ecological community of the phage metagenome. ISME Communications.

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