(ANSA) – ROME, NOVEMBER 24 – Not just antibiotics. Bacteria are capable of developing resistance mechanisms against other drugs as well. A study conducted by researchers from Princeton University, in the USA, and published in Nature showed that the microorganisms that populate the intestine and mouth are able to deactivate the antidiabetic acarbose.
The drug, taken before meals, inhibits some enzymes, leading to a reduction in carbohydrate metabolism and glucose levels, which are thus absorbed more slowly. “It can have profound side effects on the intestinal microbiome,” explain the researchers who, in the study, wanted to verify how bacteria react to its action. Using different molecular biology techniques, they observed that members of the bacterial flora of the mouth and intestine activate the production of different enzymes; these induce changes in the chemical structure of the drug through what is called phosphorylation and this causes the molecule to lose the ability to carry out its therapeutic action. At the origin of these dynamics there are some ‘resistance genes’ which, according to the study, are very widespread, to the point that in some contexts, such as in the gingival plaque, 99% of bacteria were endowed with them.
Acarbose, the researchers specify, represents a particular drug: it was discovered and then developed industrially starting from a bacterium of the Actinoplanes family and moreover the human organism could spontaneously produce similar molecules against which the bacteria have developed resistance over time. However, it cannot be ruled out that similar phenomena may occur with other medicines. (HANDLE).
Source From: Ansa