antibiotics

Antibiotic resistant ‘superbug’ genes found in the High Arctic

Antibiotic resistant ‘superbug’ genes found in the High Arctic

Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is spreading rapidly worldwide and has even been called a global threat to humans as serious as climate change. Excessive and imprudent use of antibiotics is usually blamed, but the rate and extent of the spread can’t be explained by overuse alone.

Bacteria’s secret weapons in defeating antibiotics discovered

Bacteria’s secret weapons in defeating antibiotics discovered

Bacteria possess even more tools to protect themselves from antibiotics than previously thought, according to our latest research. The ability of microbes to avoid death at the hands of antibiotics is a worldwide concern. Our study illustrates how bacteria directly combat the presence of antibiotics using newly identified defence systems.

How we can use light to fight bacteria

How we can use light to fight bacteria

During the early part of the last century, dyes were frequently used to disinfect wounds. During the first world war, thousands of lives were saved by “flavine therapy” which used dyes such as Brilliant Green and Acriflavine. The dyes were applied to bullet or shrapnel wounds to kill the bacteria at the site of the injury – for example, bacteria which causes gas gangrene. But now these dyes are being resurrected to treat bacterial infections, but with a new twist: light.

How the brain helps the body fight bacteria

How the brain helps the body fight bacteria

The brain may not only control our thoughts and basic physical functions. Recent studies indicate that it also controls the way our body responds to the threat of bacterial infections. It does this by boosting the production of a protective molecule called PCTR1 that helps white blood cells kill the invading bacteria.

‘Resistance-proof’ antibiotics may never exist – but there are some promising alternatives

‘Resistance-proof’ antibiotics may never exist – but there are some promising alternatives

Few will have missed the warnings about the increasing threat from antibiotic resistance and the dire predictions of a looming “post-antibiotic apocalypse”. And we’re right to worry: bugs that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics are affecting our ability to treat and manage infectious disease. Intuitively, the most obvious strategy to tackle this crisis, and to stay one step ahead of the bacteria, would be to identify and develop new antibiotics.

‘Resistance-proof’ antibiotics may never exist – but there are some promising alternatives

‘Resistance-proof’ antibiotics may never exist – but there are some promising alternatives

Few will have missed the warnings about the increasing threat from antibiotic resistance and the dire predictions of a looming “post-antibiotic apocalypse”. And we’re right to worry: bugs that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics are affecting our ability to treat and manage infectious disease. Intuitively, the most obvious strategy to tackle this crisis, and to stay one step ahead of the bacteria, would be to identify and develop new antibiotics.

Fighting superbugs with nanotechnology and light

Fighting superbugs with nanotechnology and light

A new tool is emerging in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacterial disease. Beyond the global efforts to limit overuse and abuse of antibiotic drugs, nanomedicine is finding additional ways to attack these superbugs.

Designer viruses could be the new antibiotics

Designer viruses could be the new antibiotics

Bacterial infections remain a major threat to human and animal health. Worse still, the catalogue of useful antibiotics is shrinking as pathogens build up resistance to these drugs. There are few promising new drugs in the pipeline, but they may not prove to be enough. Multi-resistant organisms – also called “superbugs” – are on the rise and many predict a gloomy future if nothing is done to fight back.