Protein that makes food-borne bacteria resistant to antibiotics identified

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Washington, June 6 : Iowa researchers have identified a protein that makes common food borne bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

The team led by Dr. Qijing Zhang has found Mfd, a protein involved in DNA transcription and repair that plays an important role in the development of fluoroquinolone antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter, a bacterial pathogen associated with food poisoning in humans.

Previous studies have revealed that Campylobacter is highly mutable to antibiotic treatment and the number of fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter is greatly increased in many regions of the world.

But it has not been clear why Campylobacter is able to mutate at such a high frequency.

With the help of various molecular tools, the research team from the College of Veterinary Medicine found that Campylobacter increases the production of Mfd in the presence of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

Elimination of Mfd from Campylobacter resulted in 100-fold reduction in the rate of emergence of mutants resistant to fluoroquinolones.

Without Mfd, the development of fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter under antibiotic treatment was significantly reduced.

Te study is published in June 6th open-access journal PLoS Pathogens

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