New strategy silences NDM-1 resistance gene in pathogens

9 September 2014

Researchers have created a molecule that can silence the gene responsible for severe antibiotic resistance in some bacteria. The findings, presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), could be the solution needed to combat the growing international problem of treating resistant infections.

The focus of this new molecule is NDM-1 (New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1), a gene carried by some bacteria that allows them to produce an enzyme called carbapenemase. The team said the molecule confers bacterial resistance to all classes of beta-lactam antibiotics, which are used when others fail.

Dr Bruce Geller of Oregon State University - the author of the study - said: "NDM-1 has spread rapidly to many bacterial pathogens, including E. coli, Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Many of these pathogens are resistant to multiple antibiotics, which limits treatment options."

In this study, Dr Geller and his team designed, synthesised and tested a peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer (PPMO) that is complementary to the NDM-1 gene, allowing it to bind specifically to NDM-1 mRNA, essentially silencing the gene.

Posted by Edward Bartel​


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