British university makes antibiotic resistance breakthrough

an image of the union flagScientists at a British university have claimed a breakthrough in the race to beat the global health threat of antibiotic resistance.

In research that could pave the way for an entirely new class of drugs to combat highly resistant “superbugs”, the scientists say they have found the “Achilles heel” of a major group of bacteria which includes E.coli and other potentially deadly species.

Antibiotic resistance – the process whereby bacteria evolve resistance to the drugs we use to treat them – is regarded by most experts as one of the gravest threats facing mankind, ranking alongside climate change and global terrorism. In Europe there are already estimated to be 25,000 deaths per year as a result of drug-resistant infections.

Developing new forms of antibiotics is seen as one of the key avenues for combating the threat. Now scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) say that they have discovered a way in which drugs could attack the cell membrane of one of the three major bacteria groups, known as gram negatives.

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