Superbugs Explode, According to New Research

Whenever we hear or read the term “superbug” we immediately think of an unstoppable virus that could wipe out the entire human race. Even though it could become such a huge threat, the definition of a “superbug” is a bit different. A superbug is a bacterium that is resistant to known antibiotics. As if this wasn’t bad enough news, a recent research discovered another unique property.

According to a study published by an international collaboration of scientists from Japan, Australia, and Switzerland, the cells of certain superbugs have the ability to explode when they die.

Under normal circumstances, cells that have reached the time of “death” simply stop to function becoming a tiny sphere that is dissolved by the immune system. But when it comes to the aforementioned bacteria, the situation is the exact opposite.Explosion

While observing Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that is particularly resistant to antibiotics, the research team noticed that after a period of roughly 6 seconds past the time of “death”, its cells explode. Of course, this explosion is so microscopic and powerless that it is not harmful to our health cells or any other material inside our bodies, but it still has a negative impact. The remaining parts of the dead cell are used by the surviving bacteria to form a kind of membrane that binds them together and makes them even more resistant to antibiotics and other drugs that target them.

Besides its scary nature, this discovery actually helps medical scientists to develop improved drugs and methods to track the weaknesses and finally defeat these superbugs. It is the first step towards the toughest category of the elements that cause some (if not all) of the most serious diseases that are proven to be fatal in a great percentage of incidents.

The first action inspired by the aforesaid discovery was the removal of a certain gene from the bacteria of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in an effort to prevent the explosion from taking place. The experiment was successful and not only was the explosion avoided, but the gene removal also made the formation of the protective membrane impossible. This was another piece of information that confirmed the correlation between the explosion event and the making of the membrane.

The importance of this research is huge. We are entering a new world of great potential, and we are getting closer to discovering a way to battle a large number of diseases that were very hard to treat until now. 

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