Bacteria Slaying Strain as Antibiotic Replacement

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bacteria Eaters

Scientists from the University of Leicester, UK have identified a strain of bacteria which feeds on the hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff). The discovery is a major step towards eliminating the usage of antibiotics against the bacterial infections as bacteria are known to eventually outsmart them.

The technique uses naturally occurring bacteriophage (bacteria eaters) against the bug C. diff present in the gut. These bacteriophages kill the C. diff cells by replicating its DNA inside its cells, which ultimately lead to its bursting. Thereafter, the new phages released from the dead cells spread out to kill the other C. diff cells. C. diff is known to kill people and it becomes dangerous when the antibiotic treatments interfere with the balance of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. However, these phages generally infect only one strain of bacteria which makes them effective against antibiotics.

Most bacteria’s growth is resistant to antibiotics and there are grave limitations when it comes to producing new antibiotics at a steady pace. The identification of bacteriophage is an effective alternative against the antibiotics for treating bacterial infections.

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