Special Reports

Deadly 'Superbug' Helps Researchers Understand Antibiotic Resistance [VIDEO]


Researchers at Monash University led an international study that aims to understand antibiotic resistance through a deadly superbug called "Golden Staph". Apparently, it provides the first clues on how to counter this health crisis.

Superbugs, for the record, are bacteria that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics. The experts from the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute partnered with Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science and the NTU Institute of Structural Biology in Singapore. Now, they have identified ways on how to "retool" life-saving drugs to counter antibiotic resistance.

According to Science Daily, the scientists utilized the latest generation electron microscope found in the Monash Ramaciotti Centre. It was actually the first time for experts to watch the changes that are taking place in superbugs at the molecular level. Through it, they comprehend how bacteria become resistant to medicines.

In the study, the experts examined bacterial samples of "Golden Staph" taken from a hospital patient. They then compared the data of a non-resistant strain with their counterparts in other countries. Shashi Bushan was the one from Singapore, and Zohar Eyal and Professor Ada Yonath - who won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - were the ones from Israel. Dr. Matthew Belousoff from Monash University led the study.

Belousoff said in earlier statements that the bacteria "mutates" or "evolves" to change the shape of the molecule to which the antibiotic would bind. Thus, the drug can longer fit there. He added that knowing what the enemy is doing paves the way for the next phase of drug design.

Well, this is really good news as antibiotic resistance becomes more and more of a problem for doctors. In fact, a superbug has been identified to be common in Houston. Known as Klebsiella pneumoniae, it normally lives in the human intestine but mainly damages other parts of the body.

To further explain, UPI reported that the superbug can trigger harmful infections across Houston with over six million people. It can cause pneumonia, bloodstream or urinary tract infections, as well as meningitis. The effect happens once it moves out of the intestine.

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