The cause of antibiotic resistance has been identified

The cause of antibiotic resistance has been identified

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

How do bacteria protect themselves from antibiotics?

Bacteria can change their shape to hide from drugs in the body. This new finding is a major breakthrough in the global fight against the increasing antibiotic resistance of bacterial strains.

The latest research at Newcastle University has now determined that bacteria can change their shape to protect themselves from medication. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "Nature Communications".

30 people with urinary tract infections were examined

The worldwide increase in the resistance of bacteria to drugs could make even the simplest operations impossible in the future. It was already known that bacteria adapt to escape antibiotics, but it was not clear how they do it. When examining samples from 30 elderly patients with recurrent urinary tract infections, the researchers found in their study that bacteria lost their cell wall by developing from a small tubular organism into an amorphous lump that antibiotics could not recognize.

That is why certain bacteria are not attacked by antibiotics

The cell wall gives the bacteria a regular shape (e.g. rod or ball shape) and protects them. However, this also makes the bacteria easily recognizable for the human immune system and antibiotics such as penicillin. The researchers observed that in the presence of antibiotics, the bacteria are able to change from a highly regular wall shape to a completely random, L-shaped cell wall. In this form, the body is more difficult to recognize the bacteria and does not attack them, which also applies to antibiotics.

The reason why urinary tract infections return

The team succeeded in capturing on a video how bacteria form a new cell wall after the antibiotic no longer exists and how the cell wall returns to its normal state within only five hours. The researchers believe that this is why urinary tract infections return so often because the antibiotics don't really kill the bacteria. The bacteria then form a new cell wall and the affected person is again faced with a new infection. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Katarzyna M. Mickiewicz, Yoshikazu Kawai, Lauren Drage, Margarida C. Gomes, Frances Davison et al .: Possible role of L-form switching in recurrent urinary tract infection, in Nature Communications (query: 27.09.2019), Nature Communications

Video: How can we solve the antibiotic resistance crisis? - Gerry Wright (August 2022).