New species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in infected wounds

New species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in infected wounds

An unknown species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, within the same family as E. coli and salmonella, has been found and classified in Sweden.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics drive the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, including disease bacteria, which leads to reduced opportunities for treating infectious diseases

The species, which is the first in its genus, is proposed to be named Scandinavium Goeteborgense after the city of Gothenburg, where the research was conducted.

Knowing which bacteria cause an infection and which antibiotics work or not is very important for the choice of treatment. Ignorance can have serious consequences, even in normally uncomplicated infections.

Found in infected wounds

The path to the discovery of the new bacterial group, with a new gene variant of antibiotic resistance, is described in a study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology. The starting point was bacteria found in an infected wound in an adult patient at Kungälv Hospital.

Based on a sample from the patient, the routine laboratories at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg were able to isolate the bacteria, which turned out to belong to the family Enterobacteriaceae. However, further and more extensive investigations and analyzes were required to make a species determination.

With the help of so-called Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), the researchers were able to classify the new species, which also proved to belong to a whole new genus of bacteria.

Broad-spectrum antibiotics drive resistance

The current bacterium had caused infections both before and after the discovery in Kungälv, where the samples were taken in 2014. However, now that the species is defined, the more specific characteristics of the bacterium become known.

Francisco Salvà Serra, a Ph.D. student in biomedicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and one of two first authors of the study:

– This is a clear example of how important it is to be able to identify the direct causes of an infection. If the bacteria are precisely defined, the doctor can prescribe specific antibiotics and does not have to rely on broad-spectrum antibiotics, he says.

More specific antibiotics

– Broad-spectrum antibiotics drive the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, including disease bacteria, which leads to reduced opportunities for treating infectious diseases, continues Francisco Salvà Serra.

Hedvig Engström Jakobsson, the responsible researcher for the study, emphasizes that Next Generation Sequencing has revolutionized the strategies for the diagnosis and monitoring of bacteria.

– This study required many different analyzes, where the technology gave us deeper information about the bacterium and its classification than would have been possible before, says Jakobsson.

The name of the bacterial group proposed by the researchers, Scandinavium goeteborgense, will be validated in March 2020 in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology, IJSEM.

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