According to recent research, which appeared in the journal Microbial Biotechnology, there is an association between heavy metal and radioactive soil pollution and the antibiotic resistance of bacteria in the soil.
Scientists believe that bacteria become resistant to antibiotics due to their improper or indiscriminate use. For instance, this phenomenon happens due to the widespread use of antibiotics in farms, regardless of whether the animals have a bacterial infection or not.
Corresponding study author Jesse C. Thomas IV comments: “The overuse of antibiotics in the environment adds additional selection pressure on microorganisms that accelerates their ability to resist multiple classes of antibiotics. But antibiotics aren’t the only source of selection pressure. Many bacteria possess genes that simultaneously work on multiple compounds that would be toxic to the cell, and this includes metals.”
A team of researchers from McGill University discovered that maple syrup extract can decrease the usage of antibiotic by improving the potentiality of the medicine.
At the first stage of the study, lead researcher Natalie Tufenkji separated the sugar and water from the syrup’s phenolic compounds and exposed with several bacterial strains that cause various disease. However, she didn’t find any noticeable changes. But when she mixed the phenolic extract with commonly used antibiotics then the antimicrobial potency hiked up.
Dr. Tufenkji explained that the syrup extract actually increases the permeability of bacteria that helps antibiotics to gain access to the interior of cells.
Recently, a team of scientists from George Mason University have found that protein fragments in Komodo dragons’ blood have antimicrobial properties that help them resist toxic bacteria. Researchers figured out how these lizards became resistant to deadly infections in their mouths.
The scientist took blood from Komodo dragons and analysed it to find out whether they could trace of cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs), the protein fragments that work as an essential part of our innate immune system.
The researchers hope that future studies of these peptides could lead to new antibiotic medications that can fight deadly superbugs. They wrote in their paper: “Future efforts will focus on determining whether peptides are constitutively produced or the result of pathogen detection, as well as whether this phenomenon is limited to Komodo dragons or if it occurs in other species, including humans.”