Prepared by: Mustafa Al-Zoubi
A team of scientists led by University College London have captured the clearest picture ever of live Escherichia bacteria at a resolution of less than 5 nanometers, “about 1/10000” the thickness of a human hair, highlighting a protective outer layer that makes it difficult to kill the bacteria.
The scientists revealed that “Gram-negative” bacteria have protective outer membranes that cannot be easily penetrated, but they contain strength and weakness points on their surfaces. In these Escherichia bacteria, the outer membrane consists of dense networks of protein building blocks, and protein-free spots of sugar chains Known as glycolipids, the tough outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria prevents antibiotics from penetrating the cell wall, making antimicrobial resistance of bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli a threat.
Dr. said. Bart Hugenbaum, a biophysicist at University College London and a co-author of the study, said: “Small gaps in the patches that do not contain protein suggest there may be weaknesses that can be targeted by antibiotics.”
“The outer membrane is a formidable barrier against antibiotics and is an important factor in making infectious bacteria resistant to medical treatment,” Huogenbaum added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2.8 million people develop antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States alone, and more than 35,000 people die from a single infection, and the more antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, the less effective they are.
The images show how bacteria can have such a dense protective layer while still growing rapidly as Escherichia coli doubles in size and divides every 20 minutes.