Light-activated molecular nanomachines can resensitize antibiotic-resistant bacteria to antibiotics by drilling holes in their cell wall.

One of the most alarming threats to public health worldwide is the increasing prevalence of infectious bacteria that have acquired resistance to antibiotics. For example, strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a common cause of hospital-acquired infections, are now resistant to carbapenem antibiotics. Carbapenems kill bacteria by diffusing through porins in the outer membrane of the cell wall and subsequently binding to proteins essential for cell wall synthesis. One way that K. pneumoniae strains have acquired carbapenem resistance is by mutating or losing porins, thereby blocking access of the drug to its target.


Credit: CDC

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