Enzyme is Crucial for Combatting E. Coli Infections
News Oct 31, 2016
In a paper published by Scientific Reports, Kent’s Dr Mark Shepherd and colleagues demonstrate the importance of an enzyme, cytochrome bd-I, for survival of E. coli that is resistant to multiple antibiotics.
E. coli causes serious conditions including sepsis, bladder infections, kidney failure, and dysentery. The human immune system produces nitric oxide to kill invading E. coli, and cytochrome bd-I is shown to provide significant resistance to nitric oxide during infection.
Since cytochrome bd-I is absent in humans, drugs designed to target this enzyme are less likely to be toxic to human cells. In future, targeting cytochrome bd-I with new drugs will render antibiotic-resistant bacteria more susceptible to attack from the host immune system.
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Each year in the U.S., at least 23,000 people die from infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Using computer modeling, researchers are developing the means to prevent some of those deaths. One way bacteria develop resistance is by producing pumps that spit out antibiotics, before they can do any damage. The researchers teased out the details of how one antibiotic pump works.READ MORE