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Hydrogen Sulphide Linked to Reversing Antibiotic Resistance: Study

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According to World Health Organisation, drug resistant diseases are responsible for at least 7,00,000 deaths per year globally. These numbers include approximately 2,30,000 people who lose their lives to the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. WHO predicts that the number can rise to 10 million deaths each year by 2050, if no action is taken. But, a new research from the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) offers a ray of hope.

What Was the Study?

According to a a new report, the team of scientists has discovered that Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) can act to reverse antibiotic resistance in some bacteria.

H2S serves as a natural shield against antibiotics in certain bacteria. However, it can also cause heightened sensitivity to antibiotics in some other bacteria that do not naturally produce Hydrogen Sulphide.
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The study determined that the synthesis of endogenous Hydrogen Sulphide in bacteria is responsible for antibiotic tolerance. The researchers confirmed this hypothesis by administering H2S-releasing compounds to pathogenic bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii that do not produce the chemical on their own. As a result, the treated bacteria became sensitised to various antibiotic classes. Hydrogen Sulfide also successfully reversed acquired resistance in A. baumannii to gentamicin, an antibiotic commonly used to treat various infections.

“This is a very exciting discovery because we are the first to show that H2S can, in fact, improve sensitivity to antibiotics and even reverse antibiotic resistance in bacteria that do not naturally produce the agent.”
Wilfried Moreira, Principal Investigator at SMART

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Topics:  WHO   Bacteria   Multi-Drug Resistant TB 

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