How Antibiotics Actually Kill Bacteria
An article in Medical News Today reports about a new discovery of how antibiotics really work. It appears that bacteria are actually killed due to damage to their DNA. Antibiotics attack many parts of the cell, but recent studies done by MIT and Boston University researchers have found that the damage done to the DNA is what provides the fatal blow.
It was discovered that antibiotics kill cells by producing hydroxyl radicals which are highly destructive and attack just about every cell component. Although these hydroxyl radicals cause much damage to the cell, most of these blows are not fatal. It is the damage that they do to guanine, one of the four nucleotides of DNA.
Catherine Paddock, a PhD, states that it is “astonishing that we have been using antibiotics like penicillin for over 70 years, yet we did not know the exact mechanism by which they kill bacteria, until now.” Researchers believe that understanding this mechanism can greatly improve that drugs that we currently have in place, along with producing new ones. This discovery will also help provide a solution to the problem that occurs when bacteria become resistant to our current drugs.