Antibiotics interfere with the immune system to fight bacteria

Acting on the cells of our body, some antibiotics make the bacteria more resistant to treatment, and immune cells – weaker.

Cell with nucleus (blue) and mitochondria (red). (Photo NICHD / Flickr.com.)

The mitochondria in the cell; electron micrograph. (Photo: EM Gallery / Flickr.com.) ”

From bacterial infections, we take antibiotics – they’re supposed to help the immune system defeat pathogens. However, the immunity does not necessarily will be glad of such help: in a recent article in Cell Host & Microbe suggests that some antibiotic substances can make bacteria more resistant to treatment, and to the attacks of immune cells.

Some time ago, James Collins (James Collins) and his colleagues at the broad Institute have found that some types of antibiotics damage the mitochondria of mouse and human cells . Mitochondria special cell organelles that provide cells with energy, and therefore literally Packed with a variety of proteins and molecular complexes; damage biochemical reactions in the mitochondria start to go wrong; the cell is, in turn, is forced to react. As a result, cells with damaged mitochondria come out a variety of substances, intermediate products of reactions, etc.

The next question is, does this side effect of antibiotics on bacteria and immune cells? To find out, the researchers fed mice infected with pathogenic Escherichia coli, water with ciprofloxacin, and the amount of antibiotic was proportional to that during illness we drink. In tissues of the mouse there is the very substance that should appear when the cells have damaged mitochondria, and, most importantly, because these substances are E. coli was resistant to ciprofloxacin. That is, on the one hand, the antibiotic killed the bacteria, but at the same time, acting on the body’s own cells, did bacteria trudnosmyvaemye.

At the same time ciprofloxacin were directly affecting the immune cells, the macrophages, whose job it is to eat germs. It turned out that because of the antibiotic macrophages engulf and kill microbes worse than usual.

Here, however, we must stress a few points: first, we are talking only about certain types of antibiotics, and not about “antibiotics in General”; secondly, it is unclear how this effect is significant in the clinical sense. In other words, all of the above could slow the recovery, do infection sits in the body longer, or side effects, in this sense, is not so terrible?

The answer seems obvious: with so many infections without antibiotics just won’t do, without them this match will be very long and very hard. So the moral here is not to opt out of antibiotics, and that in the development of new antibacterial drugs need more care to monitor how they will interact with our cells; and if any adverse effects still can not be avoided, we must try to choose such scheme of treatment to reduce side effects to a minimum.

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