Crumb Trail
     an impermanent travelogue
email: guesswho @

Thursday, January 19, 2006

You can run but . . .

Antibiotic resistance has become an increasing public health concern because the organisms that cause infections in humans and animals are becoming less receptive to the healing aspect of antibiotic drugs. . .

Approximately two-thirds of all known antibiotics are produced by bacteria called actinomycetes, commonly found in soils, compost, and other environmental sources.

"By evolving in an environment of antibiotic production, incredibly resilient bacteria must develop diverse ways to survive or resist the toxic antimicrobial compounds produced by their neighbors," said Wright. "Their coping tactics may be able to give us a glimpse into the future of clinical resistance to antibiotics." . .

Researchers screened 480 strains of soil bacteria isolated from diverse locations for resistance to 21 clinically relevant antibiotics. At high drug concentrations, the soil-dwelling bacteria displayed a stunning level of resistance. Not only were the bacteria resistant to an average of seven to eight antibiotics, but every strain was found to be multi-drug resistant.

The bacteria showed resistance to all major classes of antibiotics, regardless of whether the compounds were naturally produced, semi-synthetic, or completely synthetic.

Researchers also found that the way bacteria was resistant to vancomycin, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for drug resistant staphylococcal infections, was identical to resistance found in clinics.

Furthermore, the researchers' uncovered bacteria that produced enzymes capable of breaking down or modifying or rendering inactive two recently U.S. FDA-approved antibiotics, a situation which has yet to emerge clinically for these drugs.

"The link between clinical and soil-associated resistance to vancomycin illustrates the value of studying resistance in the soil to rationally anticipate future clinical resistance," said Wright. "It suggests that the soil serves as an under-recognized source of resistance, resistance that has the potential to reach clinics.

"This work could prove to be extremely valuable to the drug development process, complementing traditional laboratory studies of clinical situations. By screening newly developed drugs for resistance in soil bacteria, not only can pharmaceutical companies can gain a better understanding of what may emerge in the future as clinical problems, but sufficient warning can be given to hospital microbiology laboratories, physicians and the drug discovery sector to allow for the development of diagnostic techniques and alternative therapies.

"Furthermore, studying enzymes that inactivate antibiotics can serve as a foundation for the development of new combination therapies for resistant bacterial strains. Studying antibiotic resistance from an evolutionary perspective is one way that researchers are attempting to stay one step ahead of resistant bacteria."

. . . you can't hide. It's interesting that soil bacteria seem even more antibiotic resistant than those infecting people, but it makes sense as they live in an environment where antibiotics are produced as part of the ancient struggle for survival, the weapons of choice.

posted by back40 | 1/19/2006 08:11:00 PM


Hi, I'm a medic living in Mauritius. I have beed serching a lot throughout the net on antibiotic resistance in Mauritius (the prevalence of this type of resistance in mauritius, how it is detected here in Mauritius and what are the main antibiotics prescribed by the local doctors and why etc). The best and easiest way for me would be to go and ask doctors themselves, but I have little time.. Do you have this sort of information or do you know where I can find thiese information on the net? Thx

By Blogger Stonefalcon, at 5:33 AM  

Oh, I forgot! If you want o reply to me, post a comment on my blog..


By Blogger Stonefalcon, at 6:23 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

Open Access

Technorati Profile