Can we reverse antibiotic resistance?
In the battle against antibiotic resistance, some scientists are trying a new approach: re-sensitising bacteria to drugs they no longer respond to so that existing antibiotics can hit their target once more.
‘This is a sustainable and straightforward approach to the problem of antibiotic resistance,’ said Fredrik Almqvist, professor of organic chemistry at Umeå University in Sweden. ‘New antibiotics take a huge amount of money to develop. We are developing compounds that boost the antibiotics we already have, which is much more cost effective.’
These new compounds don’t kill bacteria. Instead, they selectively disarm them, giving antibiotics the chance to swoop in and finish the job. ‘They sensitise the pathogen and restore the effectiveness of antibiotics,’ said Prof. Almqvist. ‘It’s amazingly cool.’
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