Bacteria-predators worked as an antibiotic

Shigella. Photo: CDC

Microorganisms that are resistant to antibiotics, are more and more often. Experts fear that by 2050, the victims of “superbugs” will be more than 10 million people. Researchers are looking for effective ways to combat these bacteria, and trying new approaches.

A team of researchers from Imperial College London (Imperial College London) together with scientists from the University of Nottingham (University of Nottingham) found that dealing with “superbugs” can predatory Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus microorganisms. The authors found that this bacteria is able to fight off the pathogen Shigella flexneri, which is one of the most common pathogens dysentery. The disease often strikes travelers who, not wanting to waste a single day sitting in a hotel at the first signs of sickness take antibiotic. This leads to the fact that strains of Shigella flexneri resistant to antibiotics, appear more often.

The authors found that the simultaneous cultivation of two species of bacteria leads to a decline in the population of antibiotic-resistant Shigella flexneri in 4000 times. Scientists have conducted experiments on the embryos of fish Danio rerio, which was infected with Shigella. The frequency of survival of embryos that were exposed to Bdellovibrio, 60%, and among those, on which these bacteria have not acted, survived 25%. Predatory microorganism just ate the Shigella, which led to a decrease in the concentration of this bacterium.

Researchers failed to detect any side effects related to the action of bacteria predator. After examining the mechanism, the researchers found that the bacteria Bdellovibrio not only struggled with the Shigella, but also activated the work of white blood cells – in this case, the destruction of pathogenic microorganisms was more effective.

Mostowy Serge (Serge Mostowy) explains that this microorganism is normally present in the human body, and therefore its action should not cause any negative effects. However, further study confirming that the bacterium, an antibiotic will be effective against pathogens in humans.

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