THE EFFECT OF OLD ANTIBIOTICS HAS BEEN ENHANCED SO THAT BACTERIA HAVE LOST RESISTANCE TO THEM
Doctors and scientists are sounding the alarm. Too much use of antibiotics has led to bacterial resistance to them. But Russian scientists propose an innovative approach – together with old antibiotics to use enzymes inhibitor drugs that protect bacteria from external threats, including antibiotics. Thus, there is no need to create new antibiotics, spending a lot of money and time on it.
The importance of the issue discussed below is demonstrated by the fact that back in 2011, the DNA structure discoverer, Nobel Laureate James Watson drew the attention of the scientific community to it. He and 30 other biologists from Canada, France, Finland, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and the United States gathered in New York for a conference related to the problem of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. As a result of the conference, the participants issued a joint statement in which they stated with undisguised concern: “The development and spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria pose a universal threat to humans and animals, which is generally difficult to prevent, but can nevertheless be controlled, and this challenge must be met in the most effective ways. The facts about the essential role of bacteria in human life and welfare, the nature of antibiotics and the importance of their judicious use should be brought to the attention of the general public”.
The next big announcement came in 2012. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan spoke in Copenhagen at the conference “Combating Antimicrobial resistance – Time for Joint Action”. Putting aside all diplomacy, M. Chen bluntly and frankly stated that a new, unpredictable stage of development was coming. The WHO Director General predicted the onset of a post-antibiotic era when “even strep throat or a scratch on the knee of a child can cause death”.
Of course, in order to hear from the WHO Director-General about the imminent end of modern medicine, exceptional circumstances must have developed. Unfortunately, most people have no idea about these circumstances. Nowadays, the process of emergence and spread of resistant clinical strains of bacteria is happening too rapidly, literally before the eyes of doctors and researchers. Over the past 10-15 years, as a result of the continued intensive use of antibiotics, bacterial “monsters” resistant to various antibiotics have almost completely replaced strains resistant to only one type of antibiotics. The emergence of so-called pan-resistant superbugs resistant to absolutely all types of antibiotics has been registered.
This situation not only complicates the fight against typical infectious diseases, but also threatens the use of many vital medical procedures such as organ transplantation, prosthetics, advanced surgery and cancer chemotherapy. All of these procedures increase the risk of developing infectious diseases.
One way to overcome is to find new antibiotics. Tens of billions of dollars and years are spent on this.
But Russian scientists propose an innovative approach – together with old antibiotics to use enzymes inhibitor drugs that protect bacteria from external threats, including antibiotics. Experiments on bacteria have confirmed the prospects of this strategy. If it becomes practical, there will be no need to create new antibiotics, spending a lot of money and time.
In our body there is hydrogen sulfide, which, like nitrogen and carbon, regulates blood pressure, has an anti-inflammatory effect in infections and does much more. Bacteria cells also produce hydrogen sulfide, which, as previously shown by Russian scientists, protects cells from death and makes them resistant to antimicrobial drugs. This resistance leads to difficulties in medicine and agriculture and is becoming one of the key problems of humanity today.
Knowing this, fellows of the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences found enzymes inhibitors responsible for the synthesis of hydrogen sulfide. In addition, they found new bacterial targets that can be targeted by future antimicrobial drugs – enzymes involved in the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. Artificially synthesized inhibitors of these two groups of enzymes, as experiments have shown, make bacteria vulnerable to existing antibiotics.
The use of such inhibitors will increase the effectiveness of a wide range of antibiotics in the treatment of bacterial infections.