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GravelySilly OP t1_iyspnsb wrote

See also

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the leading causes of death globally. (I've personally dealt with painful methicillin-resistant staph infections multiple times, but fortunately had good outcomes.) And yet doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics for prophylaxis (preventatively), and household goods makers are still peddling antibacterial soaps. We should all be concerned.


adamsky1997 t1_iyupu4r wrote

In most of the "third world" (whats the pc term nowadays?) You can buy antibiotics for peanuts at every cornershop. This coupled with high reproduction rates and low age of child bearing accelerates bacterial antibiotic resistance really well!!


Frontrunner453 t1_iyv1gpn wrote

>whats the pc term nowadays

Developing countries

>This coupled with high reproduction rates and low age of child bearing accelerates bacterial antibiotic resistance really well!!

And what does this racist talking point have to do with antibacterial resistance?


spartan17456 t1_iyv3ej8 wrote

People in developing countries have more kids at younger ages than the west. How's pointing out a fact racist?


EzBriizee t1_iyt2f8x wrote

Someone dumb this down for me plz


diagnosedwolf t1_iyti09d wrote

Antibiotics kill bacteria in a bunch of different ways. One of those ways is by stopping them producing folates.

Folates are an essential part of DNA production, so without them bacteria can’t replicate.

Unfortunately, humans need folates, too. We get them from our food. These bacteria have developed a way to take folates from their environment like we do, rather than making them in-house.

It’s like if someone was building a shelter and you broke their roof, so they just leaned over and grabbed the roof off your shelter to cover them instead.


HezFez238 t1_iyvml4w wrote

I like that explanation, too, among others here- stole the materials from my roof makes sense to me


HezFez238 t1_iyt6msy wrote

Me too: does this mean if I'm going through that infection, and starve out the bacteria by not consuming folates, it will cure me?


crazyone19 t1_iytk05l wrote

Humans need folate for DNA synthesis, so not consuming folate will impact rapidly dividing cells like the immune system. The drug methotrexate works this way to suppress the immune system by blocking the folate enzyme DHFR.

This discovery is important because it shows a new target to get reduce resistance to antibiotics. An inhibitor to this folate transporter could potentially restore sensitivity to sulfa drugs.


Kansan95 t1_iyvia66 wrote

Starving out bacteria is not going to be a good option. Most bacteria are much better at creating the molecules and proteins they need using very little resources. Some have extra metabolic pathways to make things in ways that our body doesn't. That's why in the lab we can grow some bacteria on very minimal media that has only a single molecule for a carbon source (like glucose) and a single molecule for a nitrogen source (like ammonium sulfate) and they can make everything they need to continue growing with just those two things.


HezFez238 t1_iyvme7w wrote

Holy I actually understand what you wrote! Thank you!


amp1212 t1_iyurjgl wrote

This mechanism, the "theft" of needed chemistry, shows up a lot in the battles between eukaryotes and bacteria. Iron is a particularly common contested chemical, for example

Fischbach, Michael A., et al. "How pathogenic bacteria evade mammalian sabotage in the battle for iron." Nature chemical biology 2.3 (2006): 132-138.

Cherayil, Bobby J. "The role of iron in the immune response to bacterial infection." Immunologic research 50.1 (2011): 1-9.

Page, Malcom GP. "The role of iron and siderophores in infection, and the development of siderophore antibiotics." Clinical Infectious Diseases 69.Supplement_7 (2019): S529-S537.

. . . here the story is with folic acid, but the point is more general - that infection represents not just a battle between bacteria and host, but a battle to alter the microenvironment and requisition the resources from the sites . . .thinking of an invading army scouring occupied territories for supplies, and the defender equally aggressively trying to deny them to the invader.


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Itbewhatitbeyo t1_iyt7zkc wrote

I recall that bacteria can either become resistant to antibiotics or bacteriophages so when it starts becoming resistant to one you switch to the other. Anyone else recall this?


Kansan95 t1_iyvj68y wrote

Unfortunately, I don't think that is the case. Pseudomonas aeruginosa for example has a high incidence of carrying a particular bacteriophage that helps it resist new phage therapies used against it. But it continues to carry that phage even after developing tobramycin resistance.


Black_RL t1_iyx1uvj wrote

This is impressive from an evolutionary perspective and very bad from an health one.

Virus seem to be our best option for the future, right?


hugmeimsad t1_izazapd wrote

This makes me wonder how this affect individuals with a mthfr gene mutation.


Splenda_31p t1_iyu2m3i wrote

So target the stealing mechanism of the bacteria….