After Covid-19 declines and everyone goes back to parties, holidays and festivals, and start committing all the health-sapping things associated with such events, the problem of of antibiotic resistance will remain. As this little blog often reminds, we are going to need all sorts of new antibiotic molecules, vaccines, bacteriophages and researchers equipped with the latest IT. Up to now our treatments are based on a simple, one -dimensional model: put in A and wait for effect B, which hopefully consitutes a cure. Now a new study tries to look athe complicated, iterative interactions of bacteria, antibiotic and immune system.
Rachel Wheatley and Julio Diaz Caballero, reporting in The Conversation, looked at the how the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes lung infections, develops its resistance to antibiotics in real time. They showed that the best time to “send in” the antibiotic helper is when the patient’s immune system is in full cry. And that later, even if antibiotic resistant bacteria come back ,curses, the immune system may be able defeat them. You can read the link we have posted below.*
The implications are thought-provoking. Maybe the timings of antibiotic doses are just as important as the dose strengths. Maybe the immune system and its capacity to “learn” and modify could be fruitful areas for more research. In which case, it will be important to look very carefully at things like at signalling, information and stimulation. Perhaps the research teams should be recruting a few Information Scientists alongside microbiologists and chemists.
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