Two Works of Research: Bacteria Moving Effectively to Counter Human Antibiotics

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 13 June 2018



Microscopic Bacterial Magic

Bacteria Moving Effectively to Counter Human Antibiotics

DNA HUNTERS: Spearing and Plasmid Sharing



Scientists watch bacteria 'harpoon' DNA to speed their evolution,
Indiana University, June 11, 2018.


Mini Big Game Hunters

"...researchers recorded the first images of bacterial appendages -- over 10,000 times thinner than human hair -- as they stretched out to catch DNA. These DNA fragments can then be incorporated into bacteria's own genome through a process called DNA uptake or 'horizontal gene transfer.' "

"The bacterial structures used to catch DNA in the environment are extremely thin, hair-like appendages called pili."


Moby DNA

"...pili act like microscopic "harpooners" that cast their line through pores in the cell's wall to "spear" a stray piece of DNA at the very tip. The pili then "reel" the DNA into the bacterial cell through the same pore."

"The size of the hole in the outer membrane is almost the exact width of a DNA helix bent in half, which is likely what is coming across."


More Microscopic Magic

Cellular Tunneling Nanotubes



Bacteria are Practically Charitable

Plasmid Sharing

Plasmid Sharing Resistance Spreading Far & Wide in Bacterial World

Drug resistance genes shared among bacteria in hospitals can be deadly,
American Society for Microbiology, June 10, 2018.

"This outbreak shows us how drug resistance genes can be shared among otherwise unrelated bacteria co-existing in a patient's microbial community or in the environment."

"...plasmids spreading drug resistance across multiple types of bacteria."


New Resistant Bacteria

"The bacteria involved in this outbreak included Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli, two species of bacteria that can cause a variety of healthcare-associated infections, including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, and meningitis. Treatment of the infections in these outbreaks was complicated due to the presence of carbapenemase genes in the bacteria, of which two major variants of the Klebsiella pneumonia Carbapenemase (KPC) gene (KPC-2 and KPC-3) were found."

Does this make you want to wash your hands?



Plasmid Sharing Parties
Spreading Bacterial Resistance Defeating Antibiotics



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