Community Briefs 10/04/11

Oct 032011
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU researchers discover that a deadly bacteria is becoming more resistant

A team of CSU researchers has found that meliodosis — a bacteria that could be potentially used by terrorists — can be become resistant to the antibiotics that once treated it by mutating.

Meliodosis is caused by Burkholderia pseudomallei, and can be deadly if not treated quickly.

Typically, bacteria have been known to mutate to become antibiotic resistant by making a small change to their DNA. However, researchers have discovered that the bacteria discarded an entire segment of their DNA to be more immune to the antibiotics.

“To see a bacteria remove large portions of its own DNA is surprising because it’s almost like bacteria suicide,” said Herbert Schweizer, a researcher who participated in the project.

Burkholderia pseudomallei is considered a research priority by the U.S. government because it can potentially be used as a bioweapon.

“The ultimate outcome of this research is that, when patients don’t respond to ceftazidime, we now know what to look for. And hospitals can begin using new tests to diagnose the problematic mutant strains early and patients can then be treated with other antibiotics that may be more effective against the resistant strains,” Schweizer said.

 Posted by at 3:43 pm

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