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Discriminating Antibiotics

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Researchers at Penn State have developed an antibiotic that targets a specific species of bad bacteria,...
Researchers at Penn State have developed an antibiotic that targets a specific species of bad bacteria, without harming the good ones in your gut(Credit: phodopus/Depositphotos)

Antibiotics are effective at killing bacteria (for now, at least), but they aren’t very picky, indiscriminately wiping out both good and bad bacteria. This can upset the fragile balance of your microbiome, which is increasingly being linked to general health and wellbeing. Now, researchers at Penn State have developed a new approach to make a drug that can single out a specific, opportunistic bacteria known as C. difficile.

Strange as it sounds, in some cases taking antibiotics can cause a bacterial infection. That’s because they effectively carpet-bomb your insides, killing the good bacteria that are vital to your health alongside the bad bugs. C. difficile is one of the latter group, and although it’s normally kept in check by good bacteria, once they’re out of the picture it’s adept at running amok and causing infection in the colon.

To prevent that, the Penn State team set out to develop new antibiotics that can single out C. difficile while leaving the good bugs alone.

“Ideally, a treatment for C. difficile would have no effect on other bacteria,” says David Stewart, co-principal investigator on the study. “These drugs are organism specific, meaning that they target only one kind of bacteria, kind of like smart antibiotics. They’re precise. And that’s especially important with C. difficile infections because this bacteria is uniquely, selectively advantaged to exploit ecological disturbances in the human gut.”

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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