Merck Super Bacteria

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Antibiotics and similar drugs have been used for the last 70 years to treat patients who have infectious diseases (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015). However, as of recent, bacteria are evolving to form super bacteria that resistant to our known antibiotics (Neu 1992). Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. This leads to higher medical costs, prolonged hospital stays and increased mortality. It is also costing billions of dollars because of healthcare expenses and new antibiotics needing to be discovered through research (Goossens 2005). These super bacteria have a fitness advantage over the typical bacteria, which results in super bacteria increasing …show more content…
al 2016). In mice with lethal inflections of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a combo of the standard antibiotic and a small molecule was able to cure the infection. However, mice treated with just with antibiotic continued to suffer with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This experiment found that the small molecules created and given to the first group of mice were able to reverse the drug resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, in addition to leaving no harmful side effects. To create these revolutionary small molecules scientists examined the strains of the Staphylococcus virus. Two key components of the molecules was tarocin A and tarocin B, which attack teichoic acid (a building block of bacterial cell walls). This weakened the cell wall and allowed more antibiotics to enter in order to burst open the bacterial cell while it is trying to divide or grow and ultimately die. Teichoic acid is produced twice: during early production and late production. The researchers found that if they destroyed early production, the bacteria would bacteria recover and resume wall construction without teichoic acid. Therefore late production needed to be shut down, which was done by making tarocin A and tarocin B indefinitely stalled bacteria which would activate after early production but before late production. These molecules were effective 80% at breaking down the cell walls to allow antibiotics to

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