Honey Bees Could Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Bacteria that are easily treated with antibiotics before become resistant and are now harder to curb because of the immunity it developed against the once potent drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider the case as one of the most crucial worries when it comes to public health. This could also mean that such diseases which are easily treated become life-threatening.
In the U.S. alone, almost two million people become sick caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Nearly 23,000 deaths have been recorded each year due to the immediate result of the different infections while others die because of complications linked to the disease itself, according to the health agency.
UIC Today reported that the new research published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology points out how a by-product of the antibiotic Apidae Cin (Api137) can hinder the manufacture of proteins in likely dangerous bacteria. UIC researcher, Alexander Mankin supervised and conducted the study along with Nora Vázquez-Laslop of the College of Pharmacy's Center for Biomolecular Sciences and other researchers.
Generally, antibiotics eradicate bacteria by aiming the ribosome, which is the creator of protein cells. The production of protein can be stopped by the intervention during the several stages of translation. This is the process by which DNA becomes 'translated' into molecules. Api137, as mentioned by Mankin, is the primary deterrent of translation termination.
Api137 is a natural peptide created by bees, hornets, or wasps and was used by most organisms to protect themselves from such infections.
"This project was a result of an excellent collaboration of our team. We can now harness the knowledge of how Api137 works in order to make new drugs that would kill bad bacteria using a similar mechanism of action," said Vázquez-Laslop.
It would be great news if the peptides produced by honey bees can prove potential as a candidate for fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. On July of this year, honey bee population declined. The phenomenon was called colony collapse disorder where bees abandon the hive and never return.
Last month it was reported that the population of honey bees is increasing despite many factors that caused its decline during the past years. Aside from the varroa mites that suck the blood of the bees, pesticides are also considered as one of the perpetrators of the huge decline in the honeybees' population. EPA is likewise looking into neonicotinoids which are a kind of synthetic pesticide that farmers use.