Navigation Links
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics: The more they resist, the more they divide

The number of multiresistant strains of bacteria in hospitals is increasing. Bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics through mutations in their chromosomes and by incorporating new genes, either from the surrounding environment or from other bacteria. Now, a research team at the Portuguese CBA research (University of Lisbon) and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Cincia has shown that, surprisingly, when both mechanisms of resistance are playing out in the bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli), its ability to survive and reproduce is increased. These results are now ublished in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics on July 28th(*).

Usually, the acquisition of new genes, either through the insertion of pieces of DNA called plasmids or through mutations, comes at a cost to the bacteria, reflected in a reduction in its rate of cell division, for example. Francisco Dionsio, senior author of the paper, describes the process using the following analogy: "if you disassembled your computer and randomly changed connections and pieces, you wouldn't expect it to work better than before."

However, Francisco and his colleagues show that, when a mutation occurs in the chromosome of a bacterium that has already incorporated a resistance-carrying plasmid, the bacteria divide faster in 10% of the mutation-plasmid combinations tested. Similarly, bacteria that first acquire resistance to antibiotics through mutation of their chromosome and then gain further resistance by insertion of plasmids into their DNA show reproduction rate increases in 32% of combinations.

In 2009, the same research groups showed, for the first time, the importance of interactions between random genes in determining antibiotic resistance in bacteria. This latest study takes their initial findings a step further, by demonstrating that this is a general phenomenon, and thus may help to predict how a bacterial population will evolve after receiving a plasmid that confers resistance to a certain antibiotic.

Francisco Dionsio adds "These results are, at least, unexpected in light of what we previously knew about genetic interactions, and may underlie the mechanism whereby rapid resistance to antibiotics appeared.


Contact: Silvia Castro
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia

Related biology technology :

1. Gene against bacterial attack unravelled
2. Anacor Achieves Milestone from GSK for Boron-Based Systemic Antibacterial Product Candidate
3. DNA2.0 Introduces Freedom of Expression With a New Family of Bacterial Expression Vect:ors
4. Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Activity is the Most Important Driver of Antibiotic Selection for Nosocomial Pneumonia In Europe
5. Advanced Life Sciences Receives FDA Guidance on Approval Pathway for Restanza in Community Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia and Biodefense Indications
6. Biologists discover an extra layer of protection for bacterial spores
7. Scientists ID bacterial genes that improve plant growth
8. First Self-Replicating, Synthetic Bacterial Cell Constructed by J. Craig Venter Institute Researchers
9. Synthetic Genomics Inc. Applauds the Venter Institutes Work in Creating the First Synthetic Bacterial Cell
10. Scientists boot up a bacterial cell with a synthetic genome
11. Biologists discover an extra layer of protection for bacterial spores
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics: The more they resist, the more they divide
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Global demand for enzymes is forecast to ... $7.2 billion.  This market includes enzymes used in ... production, animal feed, and other markets) and specialty ... and beverages will remain the largest market for ... products containing enzymes in developing regions.  These and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , ... announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables ... the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks ... to industrial engineering, was today awarded as one ... selection of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo ... scale for the real world in the nutrition, ... engineers work directly with customers including Fortune 500 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche ... with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article ... Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... GOTHENBURG, Sweden , April 28, 2016 ... 1,491.2 M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of ... Operating profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating ... SEK 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was ... , The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... DUBAI , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... can be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system ... in the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface ... requirements of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions ... the ID readers into the building installations offer considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):