British scientists have found the best way to overcome antibiotic resistance.
Bugs rely on an enzyme to destroy common antibiotics known as beta-lactams, and new research has shown this enzyme is key to antibiotic resistance.
Their job is in fact more important than other mechanisms that act as barriers to drugs, boffins say.
A combination of two enzyme-inhibitors and an antibiotic called aztreonam was able to kill some of the most resistant bacteria known.
‘Our bacteriology research has further demonstrated that beta-lactamases are the real “Achilles heel” of antibiotic resistance in bacteria that kill thousands of people in the UK every year,’ said Dr Matthew Avison, researcher at University of Bristol’s School of Cellular & Molecular Medicine.
He added: ‘This is an exciting time for researchers studying beta-lactamase inhibitors.
At the risk of sounding like King Canute, it is the first time for a decade that there is some genuine positivity about our ability to turn back the rising tide of beta-lactam antibiotic resistance.’
The scientific breakthrough will appear in two journals, the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Molecular Microbiology.