They literally hibernate.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen found that pathogenic bacteria are very smart. They are able to apply the tactics of hibernation during a course of antibiotics, which makes them almost invulnerable.
The researchers studied a strain of E. coli bacteria causing urinary tract infection. After treatment with the antibiotics tested microorganisms showed no signs of life. However, after some time they again began to spread.
It was found that the surviving bacteria waited for the course of treatment with antibiotics in hibernation.
It is noted that many antibiotics target the mechanisms that are activated in growing and proliferating cells. The bacteria are dormant, they are not terrible. When the threat disappears, these microbes come out of hibernation and continue normal activity.
Genetically hibernative bacteria have the same characteristics as other bacteria in this population. However, scientists still can not explain why some bacteria survive, with the assistance of antibiotics and others do not.
However, surviving microorganisms were found a special enzyme, which stimulated the transition to the inactive state.
“The discovery of this enzyme provides a good basis for the future development of substances that can fight from inactive bacterial cells,” said Professor Gerdes.
Scientists hope that in the future research they will be able to find a way to block the action of this substance. In particular, this will create a new class of highly efficient antibiotics.
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