New strategy to hinder emergence of antimicrobialresistant pathogens

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 17 2018Findings point to possibility of new ‘anti-evolution drugs’ to keep hard-to-treat pathogens from arisingWith many disease-causing bacteria ratcheting up their shields against current drugs, new tactics are vital to protect people from treatment-resistant infections.Lowering mutation rates in harmful bacteria might be an as yet untried way to hinder the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. This proposed strategy comes from recent findings in infectious disease research at UW Medicine in Seattle.The report on this work is published this week in Molecular Cell, one of the journals of Cell Press. The lead author is Mark N. Ragheb, an M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The senior researcher is Houra Merrikh, associate professor of microbiology at the UW medical school.While most efforts against antimicrobial resistance concentrate on producing better antibiotics, the scientists note, “History shows that resistance arises regardless of the nature or potency of new drugs.”Deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections, they explain, have reached alarming numbers worldwide, and show signs of surpassing mortality from other causes by mid-century.In looking for another approach to combating this public health threat, the team of microbiologists, genome scientists, pathobiologists and molecular and cellular biologists found evidence for a key promoter of mutations in many different bacteria. This protein factor, DNA translocase Mfd, seems to speed resistance in diverse species toward every antibiotic that was tested.The researchers call bacterial proteins like Mfd “evolvability factors” because, by increasing mutation rates, they propel the evolution of bacteria. Unlike many multicellular organisms, bacteria evolve quickly. This allows their species to survive or escape suddenly changing conditions, scarcity of nutrients and hostile environments — including attempts to destroy them with antibiotics or immune responses.Many types of bacteria produce Mfd, an indication of its important physiological role in cells. While it was once thought to assist in DNA repair, cells missing it are not more sensitive to DNA damaging agents. Those with too much of it are actually more prone to DNA damage.In studying what is behind trimethoprim resistance, for example, the researchers saw that potent, alternative genes that accelerate antibiotic resistance failed to crop up when Mfd was absent. In certain wild type strains of bacteria with Mfd that were studied, those that gained these so called hypermutator alleles had a mutation rate that was more than 1,000 times that of their ancestral strain.The researchers estimated that roughly half of the strains under study developed hypermutator alleles during the course of becoming resistant to trimethoprim. These strains also accumulated a high number of mutations across their genomes. Strains lacking Mfd were unlikely to form these hypermutator alleles.The researchers noted, “Generating hypermutation may offer an adaptive strategy to evolve high-level antibiotic resistance, and Mfd might promote this phenomenon.”Related StoriesStudy looks into evolution of sex and transmissible cancerAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesIn other aspects of their project, the scientists reported that Mfd depends on certain other proteins that work on the bacteria’s genetic machinery in order to carry out its job in antibiotic resistance. Mdf’s role also might possibly be enhanced or even exaggerated during bacterial infections of living things, in comparison to what happens when these bugs live in lab dishes.Also, the data acquired in this research project seem to show that the role of Mfd in increasing mutations and promoting antibiotic resistance is highly conserved across bacterial species, and is not specific to only a few types of pathogens.Among the several pathogens studied, the researchers were particularly interested in the mycobacterium that causes tuberculosis. They discovered what they describe as a “striking” difference in resistance to a representative antibiotic — rifampicin — in strains with and without Mfd.The finding that Mfd is critical to the development of antibiotic resistance in mycobacterium TB could have potential clinical implications, the researchers noted.Exactly how Mfd encourages mutations and antibiotic resistance is still unclear. One explanation put forth is that it sets the stage for error-prone repair of DNA, even at sites without damage. Or it could interfere with other biochemical pathways for fixing DNA.The evolutionary assays in this study tried to mimic the variable concentrations of antibiotics that are common during treatment of infections in patients. It’s possible that Mfd may play a role in producing high levels of antibiotic resistance when bacteria are first exposed to antibiotics in amounts that are not enough to stop them.The researchers also think that Mfd’s ability to promote multiple mutations may be significant in the development of multi-drug resistance.Based on their findings, the researchers concluded, “We propose that blocking evolvabilty factors, in particular Mfd, could be a revolutionary strategy to address the antimicrobial resistance crisis.”A new class of anti-evolution drugs that target Mfd or other evolvability factors that promote mutations may complement new antimicrobials and alleviate the problem of chromosomally acquired mutations that leads to antimicrobial resistance.They added that, in principle, drugs designed to target Mfd could be co-administered with antibiotics during treatment of infections. That might reduce the likelihood of resistance developing at the start of therapy.Beyond the importance of reducing antibiotic resistance, there could be even wider implications of understanding and intervening in the evolutionary capacity of cells, according to the researchers. These include restraining genetic changes in cancer cells, and limiting the diversity in the strains of a pathogen a person’s immune system is trying to overcome.Supplemental drugs, such as the proposed evolution inhibitors, could, the researchers predict, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of current treatments, and thereby expand the arsenal of drugs available to combat antimicrobial resistant infections, cancers, and other diseases. Source: read more

Bedfont signs multiyear ODM agreement with MGC Diagnostics Corporation

first_imgThe NObreath® mission is to help improve asthma diagnosis and management for adults and children worldwide through FeNO monitoring. This new strategic partnership will enable Bedfont to access new markets worldwide and further highlight FeNO testing and its benefits globally.” Mar 4 2019Kent medical device manufacturer, Bedfont Scientific Ltd., signs a multiyear ODM deal to supply MGC Diagnostics Corporation with its new NObreath®.MGC Diagnostics Corporation (MGCD), through its Medical Graphics and Medisoft subsidiaries, is a global medical technology company dedicated to the delivery of diagnostic solutions for detecting, classifying, and managing cardiorespiratory disease. MGCD has signed an Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) agreement with Bedfont for the new NObreath® Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) monitor.Related StoriesBedfont named as Technology category finalist for 2019 National Family Business AwardsBedfont receives accolade for Technology Business of the Year at KEiBA 2018Bedfont named ‘Exporter of the Year’ for third consecutive yearFeNO is a biomarker for airway inflammation, helping in the control and diagnosis of asthma and also the differentiation between asthma and other respiratory diseases. Measuring FeNO through breath analysis, making the process quick, simple and non-invasive for both the GP and the patient. Interpreting FeNO levels aids in identifying patients who do/do not require on-going treatment whilst also differentiating between allergic (eosinophilic) and non-allergic asthma, and if used daily, FeNO measurements can help to predict exacerbations and attacks.The ODM agreement for NObreath® means Bedfont designs and manufactures the monitor and MGCD distributes MGCD branded product. The MGCD product, called FeNObreath, is differentiated from the NObreath® by direct integration with MGCD diagnostics devices.Matt Margolies, President and Chief Operating Office at MGC Diagnostics commented: Jason Smith, Managing Director at Bedfont, adds: Bedfont’s NObreath® is an ideal device to expand our existing range of high-quality diagnostic solutions. We will sell the FeNObreath both as a stand-alone device and as an integrated module to our diagnostic products. Medical Graphics and Medisoft’s selling teams are excited to add this innovative product to our product portfolios.” Source: read more

Women more likely to suffer from longterm cognitive impairment after brain tumor

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 25 2019Young women who undergo radiation therapy to treat a pediatric brain tumor are more likely to suffer from long-term cognitive impairment than male survivors, according to a study by Georgia State University researchers. Some of the survivors are doing quite well, going on to graduate degrees or medical school. Others are quite devastated by the treatments. So, there’s a huge range in outcomes and we are trying to look at the various factors involved that may explain these differences.”Tricia King, professor of psychology and neuroscience and senior author of the study “People are living longer in part because of advancements in diagnoses and treatment. Instead of research focused only on whether or not someone lives, we are now looking at the quality of survival. What’s happened now is the push for precision medicine that will provide individualized treatment to optimize outcomes. Our team is interested in identifying critical factors that may contribute to better long-term outcomes of survivors.”Related StoriesResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaTanya Panwala, lead author of the study, said the researchers focused on sex differences.”That was something that was very understudied in the research,” said Panwala, who recently graduated from Georgia State after working as an undergraduate researcher in King’s lab.The team recruited 45 adult survivors of posterior fossa childhood brain tumors and had them complete a series of standardized tests to measure intelligence, attention, working memory and independent-living skills. Posterior fossa tumors, which are in or near the bottom of the skull, are the most common form of brain tumors in children, accounting for as much as 55 percent overall.The tests showed female survivors were more affected by radiation therapy than their male counterparts in basic life skills such as reading, memory, social interactions, self-care and cognitive processing speed.”We found that females were more negatively affected by the life-saving radiation treatments than males,” King said. “This showed up in their activities of daily living in the community. So, the more challenging, higher-order skills that people need to be contributing members of society is disrupted and more so for females that had radiation than the male survivors.”The research points to the need for future studies to investigate the mechanisms for these sex differences in order to best personalize treatment plans, King said.”Because there are sex-specific differences in survivors, these get washed out when you just look at the group of tumor survivors as a whole,” King said. “To advance science, we really need to look at these groups separately. There’s lots of hypotheses of why that may be, but we need to look at the biological factors that are making females more vulnerable to life-saving radiation treatment.” Source:Georgia State UniversityJournal reference:King, T.Z. et al. (2019) The Effects of Radiation and Sex Differences on Adaptive Functioning in Adult Survivors of Pediatric Posterior Fossa Brain Tumors. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. read more

New York moves to cap Uber appride vehicles

first_imgNew York’s city council on Wednesday dealt a blow to Uber and other car-for-hire companies, passing a bill to cap the number of vehicles they operate and impose minimum pay standards on drivers. © 2018 AFP The city of 8.5 million is the biggest app-ride market in the United States, where public transport woes and astronomical parking costs have helped fuel years of untamed growth by the likes of Lyft, Uber and Via.But that growth has brought New York’s iconic yellow cabs to their knees. Since December, six yellow cab drivers have committed suicide. Those deaths have been linked, at least in part, to desperation over plummeting income.The bill stipulates a 12-month cap on all new for-hire-vehicle licenses, unless they are wheelchair accessible, as well as minimum pay requirements for app drivers—regulated by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC).It makes New York the first major city in the United States to limit the number of app-based rides and to impose pay rules for drivers.A recent TLC-commissioned study recommended a guaranteed income of $17.22 an hour for drivers—$15—plus a supplement to mitigate against rest time.New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a progressive Democrat, vowed to sign the bill into law, proclaiming that it would “stop the influx of cars contributing to the congestion grinding our streets to a halt.””More than 100,000 workers and their families will see an immediate benefit from this legislation,” de Blasio said.Around 80,000 drivers work for at least one of the big four app-based companies in New York, compared to 13,500 yellow cab drivers, according to the recent TLC-commissioned study.The increased competition has slashed the value of yellow cab taxi licenses, from more than $1 million in 2014 to and less than $200,000 today. Explore further Six-year boom pushes New York to mull Uber regulationcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: New York moves to cap Uber, app-ride vehicles (2018, August 8) retrieved 18 July 2019 from For-hire drivers and their supporters rally in favor of now-passed New York City legislation that puts a cap on app-ride vehicleslast_img read more

Centre challenged RBI circular to cover up GSPC scamCentre challenged RBI circular

first_img COMMENT COMMENTS SHARE Congress core group member Jairam Ramesh has alleged that the “scam” in Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has forced the Centre to challenge a circular by the RBI in Allahabad High Court. The circular issued by the RBI, he said, wanted the banks to declare a company bankrupt if it has ₹2,000 crore outstanding against it and defaults in repayment.The circular said such announcement should be made within a period of 180 days with effect from 1 March, 2018. This period of 180 days is over today (Monday) and, therefore, the SBI, lead bank among the lenders to GSPC, has to initiate action before to declare GSPC a bankrupt entity. The Congress, citing a CAG report, has been alleging that there is a scam of ₹20,000 crore as the GSPC failed to extract gas from KG Basin as promised by the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.He said GSPC had taken a loan of ₹20,000 crore from 15 banks, the contracts were awarded to their favourite companies, money was spent but, no gas could be extracted. “In the year 2007 elections, the Chief Minister Narendra Modi used to claim that in Gujarat if you will open a tap, only oil or gas will come out of it,” Ramesh claimed.“This is another big scam after Rafale Deal. Banks were exploited, Navaratna Company ONGC was exploited, big lies were spoken, tall claims were made and contract for drilling was awarded to one such company, which was in the business of garment manufacturing,” Ramesh said.The Rajya Sabha member added that the SBI is under pressure to take a decision on the loan restructuring to avoid GSPC being declared bankrupt. “This is because in case GSPC, once considered a ‘Mukat Mani’ of the Gujarat Government, is declared a bankrupt company, it will be a big blot on the name of the Prime Minister,” Ramesh claimed. fraud SHARE SHARE EMAIL petroleum RBI and other central banks August 27, 2018 Published on Gujaratlast_img read more

MoUs inked between educational institutions weaving clusters

first_imgcoimbatore December 09, 2018 Published on SHARE SHARE EMAIL Addition of training to higher secondary curriculum The Government of Tamil Nadu is examining a proposal to introduce industrial and vocational training in the higher secondary curriculum, to make students employable in different sectors, including textiles, said KA Sengottaiyan, TN Minister for School Education, addressing a special plenary session at the textile expo “Weaves” at Texvalley, Erode.At the event, MoUs were inked between member industries of weaving clusters in and around Erode and 25 educational institutions, for promotion of skill development and training of employees in the weaving and textile units in design, marketing and other business activities.P Thangamani, TN Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise, said the government is keen to join with the industry to create a common effluent treatment plant. “This would be a permanent solution for the dyeing and processing units in the districts of Tirupur, Namakkal, Erode and Karur to address the business and environmental challenges arising out of letting untreated effluents into the soil or water sources in the vicinity,” he said.“With support from the Centre, the State would be able to mobilise up to 75 per cent of the project cost, with the remaining coming from the participating units,” he added. On power capacity, the Electricity Minister said: “We will be adding an additional 4,000 MW to the existing installed capacity of 18,000 MW and thereby ensure that TN remains a power surplus state in the years to come”.MC Sampath, Minister for Industries, said the Business Facilitation Act has helped the State attract a ₹10,000-crore investment in the last four months. textile and clothing (industry)center_img COMMENT events SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more

Congress will find resources for minimum income Chidambaram

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram COMMENT politics Former finance minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said the Congress will explain in its manifesto on how to implement the Universal Basic Income, an announcement made by Congress President Rahul Gandhi at the farmers’ rally in Chhattisgarh on Monday.Terming the announcement historic, Chidambaram said the principle has been discussed extensively in the last two years. “The time has come to adapt the principle to our situation and our needs and implement the same for the poor. We will explain our plan in the Congress manifesto,” the Rajya Sabha MP said.He said 140 million people were lifted out of poverty between 2004 and 2014. “Now we should make a determined effort to wipe out poverty in India. The Congress will find the resources to implement the promise of Rahul Gandhi,” he said in Twitter. COMMENTS January 28, 2019 SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published onlast_img read more