Superbugs, or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, have been around for millions of years. Although we have only heard about them in the last few years, antibiotic-resistant bacteria might have existed before dinosaurs did. A new study shows that the earliest relatives of the modern antibiotic-resistant bacteria lived 450 million years ago.
“By analyzing the genomes and behaviors of today’s enterococci, we were able to rewind the clock back to their earliest existence and piece together a picture of how these organisms were shaped into what they are today,” researcher Ashlee M. Earl
This is a significant discovery for scientists and health experts. They now have a chance to find out how to deal with these superbugs. Since they are evolving more and more, specialists need to find a way to stop their spread before they become more powerful. Another great thing about this discovery is that researchers will be able to predict how superbugs are going to adapt to disinfectants and other antimicrobial products.
The research that was published in the Journal Cell shows how microbes have adapted to the changes in the environment. Scientists started their study with the first multicellular organism that is 3.5 billion years old. Since then, all microbes and bacteria have been changing to adapt to every product invented by humans against them.
Some bacteria and microbes found a way to live inside humans and animals without hurting them. Others took a more offensive way, and they started causing diseases and damaging cells. This new analysis shows that bacteria have been living inside animals since the first one started crawling. They have evolved, and so did the bacteria.
The first antibiotic-resistant bacteria were able to survive the lack of nutrients and drought. Although they were not invented yet, these microbes could even withstand antibiotics and disinfectants. Once the researchers gather more information about these antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they will be able to design more effective antibiotics and disinfectants.
The problem is that these bacteria are going to adapt to the new disinfectants like they did before. It seems that the more you fight them, the stronger they become. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see what antibiotics are going to be designed to fight the modern antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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