Antibiotic

  • A new study shows how dangerous germs travel as stowaways from one continent to another

    Using a special culture, germs from smears can be recognized and identified. Photo: WWU/H. Dornhege

    As scientists from Münster University, in collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, have now demonstrated, toilets at airports are also a “transfer point” for germs. These include germs against which traditional antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections are not, or only partially, effective.
    Münster (mfm/sm) – Everyday life at an airport: there’s still time before the jet taking passengers to faraway countries takes off – time enough for a quick visit to the toilet. What awaits passengers there is not always a pleasant sight. However, what they don’t see can be much worse. As scientists from Münster University, in collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, have now demonstrated, toilets at airports are also a “transfer point” for germs.

  • Antibiotic Resistance – Quick and Reliable Detection

    DZIF scientists (from left to right): Alexander Klimka, Sonja Mertins, Paul Higgins. Uniklinik Köln/Klimka

    Early detection of antibiotic resistant pathogens can be life-saving. DZIF-scientists at the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene, University of Cologne, have developed an antibody-based diagnostic test, which can identify carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria in only 10 minutes – in a process similar to a pregnancy test.

  • Antibiotika-resistentes mcr-1-Gen erstmals bei Patientenprobe aus 2012 nachgewiesen

    Die Mikrobiologen Dr. Jörg Wüllenweber und Dr. Franziska Schuler konnten in aufbewahrten Isolaten nun erstmals das Colistin-resistente mcr-1-Gen bei einer Patientenprobe aus dem Jahr 2012 nachweisen.   UKM

    Keim ist gegen das Reserve- und Notfall-Antibiotikum Colistin resistent / Mikrobiologen des UKM gelingt einer der ersten Nachweise beim Menschen in Deutschland

  • Bakterien aus dem Blut «ziehen»

    Bakterien können mit magnetischer Blutreinigung entfernt werden (links). Eine Lösung mit magnetischen Eisenpartikeln (oben rechts), kann mitt einem Magneten "gereinigt" werden (unten rechts). Empa

    Magnete statt Antibiotika, das könnte eine mögliche neue Behandlungsmethode bei Blutvergiftungen sein. Dazu wird das Blut der Patienten mit magnetischen Eisenpartikeln versetzt, die die Bakterien an sich binden, ehe sie durch Magnete aus dem Blut entfernt werden. Erste Laborversuche sind an der Empa in St. Gallen gelungen – und erfolgversprechend. Blutvergiftungen enden auch heutzutage noch in über 50% der Fälle tödlich, lassen sich aber im Anfangsstadium durchaus kurieren. Daher ist oberstes Gebot, schnell zu handeln. Aus diesem Grund verabreichen Ärzte meist schon bei einem Verdacht auf Blutvergiftung Antibiotika, ohne vorher abzuklären, ob es sich tatsächlich um eine bakterielle Sepsis handelt, was wiederum die Gefahr für Resistenzen massiv erhöht. Es gilt also, eine schnelle und effektive Therapie zu finden, möglichst ohne auf Antibiotika zurückgreifen zu müssen.

  • Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (mustard-coloured) engulfed by a red coloured white blood cells (neutrophil granulocyte). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

    Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

  • Cebit 2017: Computational Biologists Predict Antibiotic Resistances Using Biotech

    Time-consuming: Bacteria have to be cultivated in nutrient media in order to detect resistances. Special tests and gene data are designed to provide faster and more reliable results.  Curetis

    Every year, some 25,000 people die in the European Union from antibiotic-resistant, hard to treat bacteria. Although there are diagnostic methods in place to recognize such resistances in advance, these are typically very time-consuming. Researchers from the Center for Bioinformatics at Saarland University, in cooperation with the molecular diagnostics company Curetis, are developing techniques to uncover these dangerous resistances a lot faster. Their secret weapons: a comprehensive gene database, and powerful algorithms. The researchers will be presenting their rapid test procedures, and their outlook for the future, at Stand E28 at the Cebit computer trade show in Hannover, Germany.

  • Constricting without a string: Bacteria gone to the worms divide differently

    The rod-shaped bacteria densely populating the surface of the worm belong to the Gammaproteobacteria. These comprise members of our gut microbiome but also some serious pathogens. Nikolaus Leisch

    A new study provides fascinating insights into how bacteria divide. This shows not only how little we know about bacteria outside of the lab, but might also bring us one step closer towards the development of new antibiotics.

  • Detection of Bacterial Biofilms Using Covalent Lectin Binders

    Biofilm of a clinical isolate of Pseudomonas aeruginosa stained with fluorescent dyes (green: living cells; red: dead cells). TWINCORE/Janne Thöming

    HIPS researchers produced a molecule that provides a way to visualise Pseudomonas infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major pathogen that can cause severe infections in various organs of the human body. The infection becomes particularly harmful when the bacteria agglomerate into biofilms: They do this not only to evade attacks of the immune system, but also to protect themselves from the effects of antibiotics. This results in chronic infections that are almost impossible to treat. Scientists from the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), a joint branch of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and Saarland University, developed a molecule, which binds specifically and irreversibly to a key bacterial protein in biofilms.

  • How multi-resistant pathogens can be defeated

    Electron micrograph showing Staphylococcus aureus.  HZI/Manfred Rohde

    HZI researchers investigate the applicability of anti-virulence strategies to treat bacterial infections

    The steadily increasing resistance of many pathogens to antibiotics is one of the major challenges of modern medicine. Many of the common antibiotics have already lost their effect. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for alternatives to antibiotics for the treatment of infections that are caused by multi-resistant bacteria, one of which is anti-virulence therapy.

  • Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria

    The spined soldier bug Podisus maculiventris produces thanatin. (nrpphoto/istock.com)

    An antibiotic called thanatin attacks the way the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is built. Researchers at the University of Zurich have now found out that this happens through a previously unknown mechanism. Thanatin, produced naturally by the spined soldier bug, can therefore be used to develop new classes of antibiotics.

  • Körpereigene Nanopartikel als Transporter für Antibiotika

    Dr. Gregor Fuhrmann vom Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS). G. Fuhrmann

    Neue BMBF-Nachwuchsgruppe um Gregor Fuhrmann erforscht, wie Medikamente gezielt zu Krankheitserregern im Körper geschleust werden können. Bakterien entwickeln zunehmend Resistenzen gegen die gängig eingesetzten Antibiotika – unter anderem als Folge der übermäßigen und zum Teil falschen Anwendung der Medikamente. Zudem haben Antibiotika häufig unangenehme Nebenwirkungen, da sie auch nützliche Bakterien abtöten. Der Pharmazeut Dr. Gregor Fuhrmann, Wissenschaftler am Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS), möchte eine Technologie entwickeln, mit der Antibiotika im Körper gezielt zu den krankmachenden Bakterien transportiert werden.

  • Microbiologists Develop a Novel Method for Rapid Detection of Antibiotic Resistance

    Symbolic picture: Application of microdroplets for rapid determination of resistance using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. photo: FZ / E. Deiters-Keul

    A research team from the Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Münster, Germany, has developed a method that accelerates resistance testing. In cooperation with an industrial partner, this innovative method can now be optimized for the diagnostic market.  Respiratory, urinary tract, wound infections, and sepsis: the list of sites in which severe and life-threatening diseases manifest as a result of multidrug resistant microorganisms is long. The best option is an antibiotic treatment targeted specifically to the detected pathogen.

  • New Active Ingredients from the Toolbox

    Schematic diagram of the “toolbox system” of the NRPS enzymes for the production of new active ingredients. Fragments from natural systems (green, magenta, blue) are reassembled in a new order (centre) and then produce a natural product which has not formed like this in nature before (right). (c) Goethe University

    Microorganisms often produce natural products in a step-by-step manner similar to an assembly line. Examples of such enzymes are non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS). Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have now succeeded in designing these enzymes in such a way that they can produce completely new natural products. Many important therapeutics, such as antibiotics or immunosuppressant and anti-cancer drugs, are derived from microorganisms.

  • New approach to antibiotic therapy is a dead end for pathogens

    The pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa during the evolution experiment in the laboratory.  Image: Camilo Barbosa/Dr. Philipp Dirksen

    Kiel-based team of researchers uses evolutionary principles to explore sustainable antibiotic treatment strategies

    The World Health Organization WHO is currently warning of an antibiotics crisis. The fear is that we are moving into a post-antibiotic era, during which simple bacterial infections would no longer be treatable. According to WHO forecasts, antibiotic-resistant pathogens could become the most frequent cause of unnatural deaths within just a few years.

  • Peptides vs. superbugs

    An X-ray capillary that is being filled in order to analyze the nanostructure of the shuttle system. Empa

    Several peptides have an antibacterial effect - but they are broken down in the human body too quickly to exert this effect. Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) researchers have now succeeded in encasing peptides in a protective coat, which could prolong their life in the human body. This is an important breakthrough because peptides are considered to be a possible solution in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They occur in many organisms and constitute natural weapons against bacteria in the body, being known as antimicrobial peptides.

  • Personalized antibiotic treatment

    The electrochemical biosensor system for point-of-care testing. Photo: Andreas Weltin

    Researchers from Freiburg have developed a sensor platform that quantifies antibiotics in human blood within minutes. A team of researchers from the University of Freiburg has developed a system inspired by biology that can detect several different antibiotics in human blood or other fluids at the same time. This biosensor system could be used for medical diagnostics in the future, especially for point-of-care testing in doctors’ practices, on house calls and in pharmacies, as well as in environmental and food safety testing. The researchers focused their study on the antibiotics tetracycline and streptogramin in human blood.

  • Research against antibiotic resistance

    The paper disks have different antibiotics: Antibiotics in the discs in the culture on the left prevent bacteria from proliferating. Bacteria in the culture on the right are resistant to most of the antibiotics.

    The Swiss National Science Foundation is launching the National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance”, which aims to develop new solutions to ensure that antibiotics remain effective. Worldwide, more and more pathogens are becoming resistant to today’s antibiotics. The aim of European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November 2016 is to highlight the fact that medicines are losing their effectiveness as a result and that once easy-to-treat infections are turning into deadly diseases. To counteract this development, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is launching the National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance” (NRP 72).

  • The clever cell

    Dr. Thomas Böttcher.

    A biological chemistry working group at the University of Konstanz has decoded a molecular mechanism that inhibits the swarming motility of bacterial populations. In nature, bacteria occur mostly in multi-cellular collectives, rather than as individuals. They are capable of coordinating their behaviour, with some species even being able to move together in swarms. The biological chemistry junior research group at the University of Konstanz investigates the ways in which organisms can manipulate and, above all, inhibit this kind of behaviour. Group leader and principal investigator Dr Thomas Böttcher, his team and doctoral researcher Sina Rütschlin (née Richter) have examined the biosynthesis of one of these swarming inhibitors, finding that its production depends upon specific conditions at the substrate level of the bacterial cell.

  • Worrying traces of resistant bacteria in air

    Two photos taken in the same location in Beijing in August 2005. The photograph on the left was taken after it had rained for two days. The right photograph shows smog covering Beijing in what would otherwise be a sunny day.

    Polluted city air has now been identified as a possible means of transmission for resistant bacteria. Researchers in Gothenburg have shown that air samples from Beijing contain DNA from genes that make bacteria resistant to the most powerful antibiotics we have. “This may be a more important means of transmission than previously thought,” says Joakim Larsson, a professor at Sahlgrenska Academy and director of the Centre for Antibiotic Resistance Research at the University of Gothenburg.