In the evolutionary arms-race between deadly bacteria and the antibiotics used by doctors to kill them, the bugs have very definitely been gaining the upper hand in recent years.
But, amid growing reports of bacteria resistant to even the ‘last resort’ antibiotics, comes the news that scientists have found a new way that some existing drugs can still be effective.
Normally antibiotics must bind to a bacteria cell in order to kill it, like putting a key in a locked door.
But the researchers found that one drug exerted such a strong physical force on the bacteria that it “tore the door off its hinges”.
The hunt is now on for other antibiotics with similar properties to create a “new generation” of drugs capable of defeating even the most resistant superbugs.
Last year, growing concern about antibiotic resistance prompted then Prime Minister David Cameron to warn of “catastrophic consequences” if the problem was not dealt …