The technique offers a potential approach to treat infections by multi-drug resistant bacteria.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a de facto antibiotic “smart bomb” that can identify specific strains of bacteria and sever their DNA, eliminating the infection. The technique offers a potential approach to treat infections by multi-drug resistant bacteria.
“Conventional antibiotic treatments kill both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, leading to unintended consequences, such as opportunistic infections,” says Dr. Chase Beisel, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work. “What we’ve shown in this new work is that it is possible to selectively remove specific strains of bacteria without affecting populations of good bacteria.”
The new approach works by taking advantage of a part of an immune system present in many bacteria called the CRISPR-Cas system. The CRISPR-Cas system protects bacteria from invaders such as viruses by creating small strands of RNA called CRISPR RNAs, which match DNA sequences specific to a given invader. When those CRISPR RNAs find a match, they unleash Cas proteins that cut the DNA.
The NC State researchers have demonstrated that designing CRISPR RNAs to target DNA sequences in the bacteria themselves causes bacterial suicide, as a bacterium’s CRISPR-Cas system attacks its own DNA.
“In lab testing, we found that this approach removes the targeted bacteria,” Beisel says. “We’re still trying to understand precisely how severing the DNA leads to elimination of the bacteria. However, we’re encouraged by the ease in specifically targeting different bacteria and the potency of elimination.”
The researchers tested the approach in controlled cultures with different combinations of bacteria present, and were able to eliminate only the targeted strain. “For example, we were able to eliminate Salmonella in a culture without affecting good bacteria normally found in the digestive tract,” Beisel says.
The researchers were also able to demonstrate the precision of the technique by eliminating one strain of a species, but not another strain of the same species which shares 99 percent of the same DNA.
Another benefit of the approach, Beisel says, is that “by targeting specific DNA strands through the CRISPR-Cas system, we’re able to bypass the mechanisms underlying the many examples of antibiotic resistance.”
The researchers are currently working to develop effective methods for delivering the CRISPR RNAs in clinical settings.
“This sets the stage for next-generation antibiotics using programmable CRISPR-Cas systems,” says Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, an associate professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences at NC State and co-author of the manuscript.
The Latest on: Multi-drug resistant bacteria
via Google News
The Latest on: Multi-drug resistant bacteria
- Global Travellers Vulnerable To Drug-Resistant Bacteria, Says Studyon February 25, 2021 at 7:53 pm
Bacterial strains colonised multiple travellers staying at the same hotels and spending time in each other's company.
- Size of a cattle herd’s bubble can affect disease riskon February 25, 2021 at 11:56 am
I spoke to a veterinarian in Western Canada this week who was dealing with a significant disease outbreak in one of his client’s herds. The cow-calf ...
- A mission to conquer tuberculosis and sleeping sickness in developing nationson February 25, 2021 at 4:45 am
"The bacteria proliferate very slowly," Nakajima ... as well as a PCR method to distinguish "Modern Beijing" MTB, a multi-drug resistant strain spreading rapidly in some Asian countries.
- Global travellers exposed to a greater burden of multidrug-resistant bacteria: studyon February 25, 2021 at 4:06 am
Travellers can pick up the bacteria even during short visits and further spread the strains after returning home.
- University of Qld researchers find artificial sweeteners may promote antibiotic resistanceon February 25, 2021 at 4:02 am
Common artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks, chewing gum, low calorie yoghurts and many other foods may be speeding up the spread of antibiotic resistance, Queensland researchers warn.
- Blue Light, Food Oils Combo Kills Superbugs, says Studyon February 24, 2021 at 11:56 am
Investigators wanted to see how their method would fare against Acinetobacter baumannii and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and results were promising.
- 'Phage therapy' helps treat mice infected with multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniaeon February 23, 2021 at 2:40 pm
Using viruses instead of antibiotics to tame troublesome drug-resistant bacteria is a promising strategy, known as bacteriophage or "phage therapy." ...
- Iterum Therapeutics to Present in Upcoming Investor Conferenceson February 19, 2021 at 6:50 pm
Iterum Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: ITRM) (the Company), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing ...
- USAID empowers Nigeria’s TB control programme to diagnose, treat suspected patientson February 17, 2021 at 7:48 pm
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided critical commodities to Nigeria’s National Tuberculosis (TB) and Leprosy Control Programme for the ...
- Antibiotic could be repurposed and added to tuberculosis treatment arsenalon February 17, 2021 at 9:39 am
Over 90% of strains of multi-drug resistant MTb cannot be treated ... Very few antibiotics are effective against MTb, and as the bacteria become resistant to more and more antibiotics, TB is ...
via Bing News