Thursday September 28, 2023

Antibiotics resistance

September 27, 2020

Antibiotics are the substances that destroy or slow down the bacterial growth.

The bacterial strains which can survive in the presence of certain antibiotics are called antibiotic resistant bacterial strains and this resistance is due to the presence of various genes. These genes might be located as part of genome or plasmid.

The product of these genes i.e. proteins/enzymes are molecules responsible for antibiotic resistance. One of the examples for proteins is ß-lactamase. This is an enzyme that is responsible for the degradation of all the ß-lactam ring containing antibiotics and makes them ineffective.

There are four major classes of ß-lactamases and about 890 ß-lactamases have been previously reported from bacteria.

Antimicrobial resistance has emerged as a global health crisis. Beta-lactamases (ß-lactamases) have many applications in the medical field.

Despite resistance, ß-lactamases have a number of useful applications, in pharmaceutical industry, wastewater treatment plants, diagnostics, food analysis and in cancer treatment for the targeted drug delivery to cancerous cells. In Pakistan there is no single unit for the production of ß-lactamases and this enzyme is being imported for diagnostic purposes.

A recombinant ß-lactamase has been produced from Bacillus subtilis R5 using Recombinant DNA Technology during a research study at the Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore.

The researchers aim at producing this ß-lactamase in bulk, but it needs funds for its production at large scale and its testing at various laboratories before its availability at commercial level.

Local production of ß-lactamase will save huge foreign exchange for the import of this enzyme.

The authors acknowledge the Higher Education Commission Pakistan for providing funds to conduct this research work.

— Amjed Ali and Dr Muhammad Tayyab