Update: Nov 12, 2019 21:07 IST
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Washington DC (USA), November 12 (ANI): A new study used a genetic analysis to show how two different strains of a single species of flesh-eating bacteria were working together to become more dangerous than one. only strain.
The work suggests that other infections difficult to treat could be polymicrobial and that the treatment of a single organism in a polymicrobial infection could be the cause of many secondary infections and treatment-resistant chronic infections. The results of the study were published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019.
In recent years, scientists have discovered that serious infections that evolve rapidly and resist treatment are often caused by interacting microbes. Very little is known about these so-called polymicrobial infections, but traditional diagnostic methods often misidentify them as single-microbial or microbial infections.
"This research provides clear evidence that a very serious infection considered to be caused by a single species of a naturally occurring bacterium actually had two strains," said Rita Colwell, a professor emeritus of the University of Toronto. Institute of Advanced Studies in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, and co-author of the study.
"One of the strains produces a toxin that breaks down muscle tissue and allows the other strain to migrate into the bloodstream and infect the organs." The original infection – from a patient who developed a serious disease that consumes flesh, called necrotizing fasciitis – was diagnosed as a mono-bacterial disease. Traditional diagnoses could not determine that the infection was caused by a single species of bacteria called Aeromonas hydrophila.
But the disease puzzled clinicians when it quickly became fatal, requiring quadruple amputation to save the patient's life. Through genetic analysis of the culture, Colwell and his team found significant differences between individual bacterial cultures that could not be detected by standard diagnostic methods.
The ability to identify the agents involved in polymicrobial infections, whether it is different species or different strains of the same species, can significantly improve the results of treatment in infected patients.
"When we are dealing with a given antibiotic, we are eliminating an organism from the body," said Colwell. "But if another organism participates in the infection and is also pathogenic, then any antibiotic treatment that does not target that organism might just be a breeding ground for its crazy growth."
The treatment of a single organism in a polymicrobial infection could be the cause of many secondary infections and treatment-resistant chronic infections. According to Colwell, a mixture of antibiotics or therapeutic drugs may be needed to treat polymicrobial infections. The systematic use of the genomic approach developed in this study to analyze infections could lead to the development of more effective targeted treatments for diseases caused by polymicrobial infection. (ANI)
. (tagsToTranslate) Bacteria (t) Infection (t) food illness (t)