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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!