NEWS SPECIAL: Multi-resistant bacteria and how to fight them

Munich student team develops new production method for viruses that attack bacteria

Bacteria that become resistant to known antibiotics are on rise. A team of students from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) have developed a new method to produce bacteriophages, the natural enemies of bacteria, which can be used as alternative treatments for bacterial infections. The team took second place among over 350 teams in the renowned global iGEM competition.

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New targets in the battle against antibiotic resistance

More and more bacteria are resistant to available antibiotics. A team of chemists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) now presents a new approach: they have identified important enzymes in the metabolism of staphylococci. Blocking these enzymes in a targeted manner would allow the pathogens to be starved.

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High levels of enterotoxins of multi-resistant bacteria make them more dangerous

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can cause numerous diseases, such as skin infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning (sepsis). The strong immune response triggered by the bacteria is an aggravating factor here. One reason for this lies in specific bacterial toxins – as established by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and University of Tübingen. These toxins reduce the amount of cells capable of suppressing the immune response. So multi-resistant strains, which produce very high levels of enterotoxin, become even more dangerous.

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original publication:
Hoegl et al.: Mining the cellular inventory of pyridoxal phosphate-dependent enzymes with functionalized cofactor mimics, Nature Chemistry, Oct. 8, 2018 – DOI: 10.1038/s41557-018-0144-2

Stoll et al.: Staphylococcal Enterotoxins Dose-Dependently Modulate the Generation of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, September 13, 2018, DOI: 10.3389/fcimb.2018.00321 (Open Access)

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