While antibiotics are known to save lives of many all across the globe, they also have a major drawback: they inadvertently promote bacterial resistance whereby the bacteria respond by evolving strategies to become immune to the action of the antibiotics such that the latter can no more neutralise them. To avoid this problem, a group of international researchers have devised a new method of treating bacterial infections effectively without leading to bacterial resistance. They have developed liposomes that destroy the bacterial toxins.
The development of antibiotics has been a real breakthrough some decades back, saving thousands of lives from then on. Bacterial infections that can now be easily treated with antibiotics would previously result in the helpless deaths of the infected people, whereas now, the cure is just an “antibiotic-dose away”. However, the antibiotics themselves should not be abused of: using too much of them, or too often enough,ultimately render them to be ineffective.
The battle against harmful microorganisms does not come without constraints; as humans manufacture the pills to neutralise the bacteria, the latter persevere to remain alive and, as a consequence, they might grow resistant to the antibiotics – the microorganisms have actually proved to be resilient. As such, antibiotics can, in this way, cause the bacteria to evolve more staunch, badass methods to counter their neutralising effects.
If some antibiotics are made to become inefficient, people might die from a mere pneumonia. As much as antibiotics are useful to mankind, they can also, at the same time, give rise to stronger and meaner harmful bacteria.
How about alternative methods then? In these circumstances, it would be logical to shift to other strategies to get rid of toxic bacteria. A team of scientists have manufactured a new substance that could be used to treat bacterial infections as effectively as antibiotics. The new ‘antidote’ consists of artificial nanoparticles which are made of lipids. The lipids, known as liposomes, bear close resemblance to the membrane of the host cells.
The liposomes act upon the bacterial toxins, ‘enticing’ and later trapping them, thereby getting rid of them. The toxins are attracted to the liposomes, attach to them, and then destroyed. Bacteria deprived of their toxins to take over their host cells are weak bacteria: they can then be easily fought and annihilated by the immune system of the host.
This method is particularly interesting because, unlike antibiotics, it does not promote bacterial resistance. The bacteria are not themselves attacked, but, rather, the targets are their toxins that are destroyed. Therefore, the microorganisms are not caused to respond by developing ways to counter the effects of the substance.