Survival of the smartest: Superbugs defeated with evolutionary trick | Ars Technica
Bacteria are wizzes at developing resistance to our most powerful antibiotics. This unfortunate skill leads to millions of difficult-to-treat infections worldwide and growing fears that bacteria may one day become unstoppable. But these microbes’ evolutionary prowess can just as easily be their downfall, scientists reported last week in Nature Chemical Biology.
By gaming the evolutionary system, researchers have fooled drug-resistant Escherichia coli into tossing their resistance. Then, with a shot of the drug that the bacteria could previously withstand, the E. coli met their end. Though the study was just done in lab dishes, the authors, led by researchers at Harvard, are hopeful that the one-two punch could be useful in reversing drug resistance and restoring the effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics.
This strategy could “add valuable tools to our antimicrobial arsenal,” they conclude.
To pull off the evolutionary…
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