• News
  • Spirituality
    • Dream Interpretation
    • Angel Numbers
    • Tarot
    • Prayers
    • Spells
  • Health
  • Science
  • Celebs
  • Betting

Bacteria Are Destroyed By Strange Antibiotics Used As A Last Resort


Bacteria are destroyed by strange antibiotics used as a last resort. Antibiotics belonging to the polymyxin class cause bacterial cell membranes to crystallize, as shown in recent high-resolution microscopy photos.

Researchers describe their findings in Nature Communications on October 21. The honeycomb-shaped crystals transform the normally pliable coverings of fat molecules on the microorganisms into thin, brittle sheets. When the bacteria's membranes become unpetrified, they perish.

Sebastian Hiller, a structural biologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, says that the discovery came as a complete and total surprise. Antibiotics were being used as a control in another experiment by Hiller, biophysicist Selen Maniolu, and his colleagues. When scientists switched on their microscopes and saw these waffles, they knew right away they were onto something extraordinary.

How do antibiotics kill bacteria - and how do superbugs become so resistant?

Polymyxin Discovery

Since their discovery in the 1940s, polymyxin antibiotics like colistin have served as a potent last line of defense against germs that have developed resistance to most other medications. Scientists have long known that polymyxins disrupt bacterial cell membranes in some way.

The team's findings, which they dubbed "waffles," were, however, beyond anyone's wildest imagination. Hiller and colleagues subjected samples of Escherichia colicell membrane to varied doses of colistin in the latest investigation. Atomic force microscopy imaging showed crystal formation at bactericidal concentrations.

Crystallization did not occur in colistin-resistant bacteria that were treated with the antibiotic. The data suggest that polymyxins achieve their effects by organizing the cell membrane into a crystalline form that renders it brittle and susceptible to attack.

That’s something that has not even remotely been hypothesized so far. It’s a very important study. I’d even say it’s a breakthrough.- Markus Weingarth, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Final Words

It's not completely understood how polymyxins crystallize cell membranes. Some bacteria have become resistant to polymyxins and are spreading, and this poses a hazard. Scientists cannot improve the efficiency of antibiotics without additional research like this one that help show how the medications function.

Hiller believes this preliminary evidence for the stony effects of polymyxins will aid in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Share: Twitter| Facebook| Linkedin

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah- Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

Recent Articles

No articles found.