(ORDO NEWS) — Australian scientists have discovered a new form of antimicrobial resistance. It turned out to be impossible to detect using traditional laboratory testing methods.
Scientists analyzed group A streptococcus, a potentially deadly bacterium that can begin to multiply in the throat or on the skin.
Bacteria are known to need to produce folate in order to grow and destroy the host. Modern antibiotics block the production of folic acid and thus stop the growth of pathogens.
But in the course of a new study, scientists have seen for the first time that streptococcus, having lost the ability to produce its folates, began to receive them directly from the body of the “victim”.
As a result, the antibiotic became ineffective, and the disease, despite therapy, only worsened.
Since this type of resistance is almost impossible to detect, doctors may have serious difficulties in prescribing the right treatment, the authors of the scientific work warned.
There is a risk of death for the patient. Moreover, according to scientists, their discovery may be only the “tip of the iceberg”.
It cannot be ruled out that similar resistance mechanisms have already developed not only in streptococcus, but also in other bacterial pathogens.
The spread of drug-resistant bacteria is a huge threat to global health. They are predicted to kill up to 10 million people a year by 2050.
“Without antibiotics, we will face a world in which there is no way to stop deadly infections, cancer patients cannot receive chemotherapy, and people will not have access to life-saving surgeries,” said study lead author Dr. Timothy Barnett.
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