Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found why some bacteria are able to survive antibacterial treatment.
[removed]The study[/removed], published online by Nature.com, focuses on persistent bacteria – a type of bacteria that becomes dormant or inactive when exposed to antibacterial treatment. These bacteria are not resistant to antibiotics, but activate when the antibiotic treatment is over.
Researchers at Hebrew University focused on the connection between persistent bacteria and the naturally occurring toxin HipA found in persistent strings. HipA was the first toxin to be linked to bacterial persistence, thus identifying its cellular target and how it triggers dormancy in persistent bacteria became the focus of the study.
Researchers found that when antibiotics attack persistent bacteria, the HipA toxin disrupts the chemical messaging process necessary for nutrients to build proteins. The persistent bacteria interpret this signal and go into an inactive state that enables it to survive until the antibacterial treatment is over.
According to the study, researchers reversed the toxicity of HipA, which prevented persistent bacteria from forming.
Unlike other forms of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics through mutation, persistent bacteria contain the evasive quality of dormancy. The University notes that recent findings on this type of bacteria, and it’s connection with HipA, will continue with the intentions of finding a way to control and treat such bacteria.