Disarming harmful bugs could be a better way to combat antibiotic resistance than by killing them, says a new study. Research led by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia showed a protein complex called TAM formed a type of molecular pump in bacteria. The pump allows bugs to shift disease-causing molecules from inside the bug cell to the outside, readying them for infection, the journal Nature Structure and Molecular Biology reports.
Biochemistry doctoral student Joel Selkrig at Monash University, who led the study, said the work opens the way to developing new drugs that disrupts the pumping process, neutralising the bugs potential to infect, according to a Monash statement. ”The TAM was discovered in many disease-causing bacteria that cause whooping cough and meningitis, to hospital-acquired bacteria that are developing resistance to current antibiotics,” Selkrig said.