Superbugs resistant to modern medicines, annually cause tens of thousands of lives. Experts predict that in the future the situation will only get worse.
It is considered that the cause of the problem – overreliance on antibiotics. Contacting them, the bacteria and become resistant to them. But recent studies have shown that pathogens can acquire the “superpower” in and of themselves, reports .
Researchers have found a link between short-term technique of the survival of bacteria and long-term resistance to the drugs.
It is known that an important element of the protective bacteria are efflux pumps. They are pumped out of cells toxic substances to pathogens is antibiotics.
But this process requires large amounts of energy and slows growth. Therefore, nature has provided a kind of protective mechanism, some cells have more pumps, others less.
It turned out that the former are more prone to mutations associated with drug resistance, even if you have never had contact with the antibiotic.
Scientists emphasized on genetic changes caused by a hostile environment, we know quite a lot.
“But we know little about the first step begins the transformation of susceptible bacteria into resistant,” added the study authors.
The study of these mechanisms, experts say, will help stop the spread of “immune” bacteria.
Previously, it has been estimated that by 2050, if nothing changes, superbugs will cost more lives than cancer and diabetes combined – up to ten million a year. Ordinary surgical operations such as caesarean sections will become deadly, as no protection from infection.