Tracking bacterial evolution in real time spots emergence of antimicrobial resistance

  05 October 2022

Cutting-edge technology has allowed scientists to watch bacteria developing antimicrobial resistance in real-time, according to new research published in Microbial Genomics.

In this study, a collaboration between researchers based at Earlham Institute and the Quadram Institute, funded by a BBSRC Tools and Resources Development Fund (TRDF) award, researchers exposed strains of Salmonella to small concentrations of ciprofloxacin, a common antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections. 

By taking regular samples and sequencing single cells in the population, they were able to track mutations as they appeared and record any that helped the bacteria evade the treatment.

The team were able to identify specific mutations in single cells known to be responsible for resistance. They were also able to determine variation in the population; whether all resistant bacteria had one common ancestor, or if multiple bacteria had mutated independently.

Further reading: Earlham Institute
Author(s): Earlham Institute
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Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre


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