Superbug Bacteria Gains Resistance without Exposure to Modern Antibiotics
Health experts have warned that superbug bacterium can gain resistance to most of our ‘last resort’ antibiotics without exposure to human society and antibiotic drugs. Scientific researchers have recently discovered a strain of drug-resistant bacteria at the bottom of an inhospitable 300m deep cave that is already resistant to over seventy percent of antibiotics.
This latest bacterium discovery has caused many researchers to question what causes antibiotic resistance. This four-million-year-old bacteria that has been discovered by researchers has developed a strong bacterial resistance to our modern antibiotic drugs without coming into contact with any of the leading causes of drug resistance. The bacteria has remained isolated from people, modern society and all modern antibiotic drugs.
This newly discovered bacterium is helping scientists to understand where bacterial resistance comes from. Researchers have discovered that the superbug bacteria developed this resistance through evolution to help them fight one another for food available within the cave. This ancient strain of bacteria is able to inactivate some of the most readily available and effective drugs used in modern medicine.
Dr Hazel Barton, a microbiologist who was part of the team who discovered this millennia-old superbug bacteria highlights how important this discovery is as it negates the theory that bacteria only develop drug resistance when directly exposed to antibiotics. This means that the resistance we are now beginning to see did not solely evolve through our dependence on antibiotic drugs.
Barton claims that this ancient bacteria should be viewed as a ‘hero’ bug, not a superbug as it could help scientists to develop new ways of fighting drug resistant bacteria.
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