Scientists reveal how bacteria develop antibiotic resistance .
The research suggested that increasing number of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a rapidly growing global problem . Disease-causing bacteria become resistant through mutations of their own DNA or by acquiring resistance genes from other, often harmless, bacteria .
The findings meant scientists are one-step closer to finding a way of developing drugs to get rid of antibiotic resistant bacteria .
Principal investigator Erik Kristiansson from Chalmers University of Technology said that there are lots of unknown resistance genes . Knowledge about these genes makes it possible to more effectively find and hopefully tackle new forms of multi-resistant bacteria .
"The more we know about how bacteria can defend themselves against antibiotics, the better are our odds for developing effective, new drugs", said co-author Joakim Larsson from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden .
They identified the novel genes by analysing DNA sequences from bacteria collected from humans and various environments from all over the world .
"Resistance genes are often very rare and a lot of DNA data needs to be examined before a new gene can be found", Kristiansson added .
Identifying a resistance gene is also challenging if it has not previously been encountered .
"The novel genes we discovered are only the tip of the iceberg . There are still many unidentified antibiotic resistance genes that could become major global health problems in the future," Kristiansson noted .
The results are published in the scientific journal Microbiome . (ANI)