New “molecular clamps” can help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria


Researchers at Ben-Gurion University (BGU), along with American and German colleagues, have developed new “molecular clamps” to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. His recently announced findings were published in Cellular Chemical Biology.

For years, medical professionals have struggled to make bacterial infections increasingly resistant to antibiotics. These molecular clamps may be the key to combating one of the biggest public health problems of the 21st century.

Our finding prevents infection without increasing antibiotic resistance and it may even be preferable to develop molecular forceps-based treatments rather than antibiotics. ”

Once Jelinek, teacher, Department of Chemistry, Ben-Gurion University (BGU)

The research team, led by Professor Jelinek and her PhD. student Ravit Malishev, tested his molecular forceps on the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (Staph). In the U.S., staph infections have an estimated mortality rate of more than 25% and 40% for drug-resistant strains.

The tweezers are aimed at biofilm, a thin layer of fibers that protects bacteria. By gripping the fibers and destroying the protective layer, the tweezers affect the bacteria without directly attacking them, which prevents resistance from occurring.

Professor Jelinek, who is also vice president of research and development at BGU and a member of the Ilse Katz Institute of Science and Technology at Nanescala, explained: “They attack the fibers of the bacterium’s biofilm.” By doing so, they break the biofilm. and make it more vulnerable to human immune defenses and external substances used against bacteria such as antibiotics. “

“The success of the study indicates an innovative direction of antibiotic treatments against pathogenic bacteria. We found that the binding of tweezers to the biofilm alters their protective capabilities. As a result, bacterial pathogens become less virulent to the human body and are more vulnerable to elimination by the immune system.

This breakthrough may open up new ways to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria. ”Professor Jelinex hopes that after further testing, a pill containing millions of“ swallowing tweezers ”can identify the body’s biofilms and separate them.


Newspaper reference:

Malishev, R., et al. (2021) Inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus functional amyloid forming biofilm by molecular clamps. Cellular Chemical Biology.

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