"We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough."
Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a perfect example of the threat posed by "Antimicrobial Resistance" (AMR). The most common form drug-resistant TB is multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), which means that TB bacteria are resistant to two of the best first-line antibiotics -- isoniazid and rifampicin.
Despite all the technology in academic and pharmaceutical institutions, nothing can stop a microbe from figuring out how to best an antibiotic. As such, the mood is sombre at best and apocalyptic at worst. Instead of trying to develop yet another complex mousetrap, the answer lies in looking at weapons of mass microbial destruction already in use in the wild.
For those studying this unique branch of terrestrial life, the identification of resistance genes in the environment suggested there had to be antimicrobials out there. If this was the case, the Archaea were going to play a role. The only question they couldn't answer was the nature of this role. This past week, a team of researchers from Vanderbilt University may have provided the answer: Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT).
For many, the mere mention of a yeast infection can bring chills down the spine. While this is most commonly associated with women's health there are a number of other potential health problems linked to these germs. There are a number of yeasts that cause infection but most attention has gone to a specific type, Candida.