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Very interesting. This is a new sort of antibiotic resistance. Usually there is an internal defense of some sort, the microbes evolve to process what was once a poison and simply become immune. As usual with evolution, if just a few of a given type of bacteria have a mechanism that lets them deal with a toxin, they will be selected when the toxin appears in huge quantities and wipes out the competition. Then the huge multiplication rate of bacteria takes over and they restore the previous levels of whatever population they came from.

The mechanism for this sort of evasion is difficult to explain as a naturally occurring feature that accidentally became beneficial, though. Cell walls exist for a reason, to protect the organism itself from its environment. You would expect them to simply change the composition of the cell wall, or rather, for those with a slightly different composition not susceptible to the toxin to survive and multiply, changing the population. Completely stripping the cell wall makes no sense. It's not at all similar to larger animals being able to drop a body part. Geckos dropping a tail when grabbed by a predator, for example. It's like an animal completely shedding its skin when attacked. Even molting, which takes a while, is not shedding the skin itself. It's just shedding the outer layer, the epidermis, while the living part of the skin remains and grows a new epidermis. But this bacteria trick is like dropping the entire skin, which would be very dangerous for animals.



Bacterial 'striptease' evades antibiotics

Researchers at Newcastle University filmed bacteria "undressing" and taking off their outer layer - or cell wall.

Antibiotics can attack cell walls so scientists think this is a new form of drug resistance and could explain why some infections keep coming back.

But experts said it was still unclear if this was having an impact on patients.


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Bacteria take off their coats! 1275 Susan Doris 27-Sep-19 04:59
Re: Bacteria take off their coats! 188 Nolondil 27-Sep-19 14:33
Re: Bacteria take off their coats! 329 Susan Doris 27-Sep-19 15:41

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