Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Antibiotics cause dangerous bacteria communities to appear, study say

Published time: February 24, 2015 09:13


Reuters / Suzanne Plunkett
TagsBiology, Drugs, Health, Medicine, Science,USA

Antibiotics can cause the appearance of new harmful bacteria, new research suggests. The findings come as concerns grow that the overuse of antibiotics is creating resistance to bacteria, and the appearance of so-called “superbugs.”

"For a long time we have thought that bacteria make antibiotics for the same reasons that we love them – because they kill other bacteria," Elizabeth Shank, assistant professor of biology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told Science Daily.

Antibiotics are derived from special microorganisms or other living systems, and are created using a fermentation process.

"However, we have also known that antibiotics can sometimes have pesky side effects, like stimulating biofilm formation," Shank said, referring to her study published in in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Biofilms are communities of bacteria that form on surfaces, for instance, medical catheters or feeding tubes in patients.

Biofilms may be both beneficial – for example, when they form on plant roots to protect them from the contamination in the soil – and harmful. They are responsible for several chronic diseases that are difficult to treat, such as cystic fibrosis, endocarditis and cystitis.
Read more http://rt.com/news/234947-antibiotics-bacteries-harmful-communities/