Bacteria Survive On All Antibiotic Diet

Posted on April 4, 2008  Comments (5)

Bacteria Survive on All-Antibiotic Diet

The scientists wanted to make sure they had a good control—a group of bacteria that didn’t grow at all—so they bathed some of the bacteria in antibiotics. But there was a problem: The bacteria didn’t just survive in the antibiotics, they consumed them. The researchers then gathered soil from 11 sites with varying degrees of exposure to human-made antibiotics (from manure-filled cornfields to an immaculate forest) and found that every site contained bacteria, including relatives of Shigella and the notorious E. coli that could survive solely on antibiotics. And these weren’t just piddling doses—the bacteria could tolerate levels of antibiotics that were up to 100 times higher than would be given to a patient, and 50 times higher than what would qualify a bacterium as resistant.

Related: Bacteria Can Transfer Genes to Other BacteriaPeople Have More Bacterial Cells than Human CellsSoil Could Shed Light on Antibiotic ResistanceFDA May Make Decision That Will Speed Antibiotic Drug ResistanceDrug Resistant Bacteria More Common

5 Responses to “Bacteria Survive On All Antibiotic Diet”

  1. Virtual Coach | Think Antibiotics Kill all Home Bacteria? Think again!
    April 5th, 2008 @ 10:11 am

    [...] The next time you think antibiotics are the cureall for ickness, remember: “The scientists wanted to make sure they had a good control—a group of bacteria that didn’t grow at all—so they bathed some of the bacteria in antibiotics [...]

  2. CuriousCat: High School Student Isolates Microbe that Eats Plastic
    May 24th, 2008 @ 10:20 am

    “First, he ground plastic bags into a powder. Next, he used ordinary household chemicals, yeast and tap water to create a solution that would encourage microbe growth…”

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Superbugs - Deadly Bacteria Take Hold
    August 17th, 2008 @ 9:24 am

    “you take a capable microorganism like Klebsiella and you put it through the grueling test of being exposed to a broad spectrum of antibiotics and it will eventually defeat your efforts…”

  4. Anonymous
    January 5th, 2009 @ 1:46 pm

    Nice post, really interesting stuff bacteria arent they?

  5. Tom
    May 4th, 2009 @ 12:48 am

    These discoveries are in line with some of the staph viruses found in hospitals that are resistant to anti biotics. The key take away is that the wee beasties will mutate so any antibiotic holds only a temporary solution. As soon as one antibiotic goes on the market a new one has to be developed to bite the bugs that have found a resistance to the antibiotic just released.

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