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Hebrew U. researchers reach breakthrough on understanding how persistent bacteria are able to avoid antibiotics

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In addition to the known phenomenon by which some bacteria achieve resistance to antibiotics through mutation, there are other types of bacteria, known as “persistent bacteria”, which are not resistant to the antibiotics but simply continue to exist in a dormant or inactive state while exposed to antibacterial treatment. These bacteria later “awaken” when that treatment is over, resuming their detrimental tasks and presenting a dilemma as to how to deal with them.

Until now, it had been known that there is a connection between these kinds of bacteria and the naturally occurring toxin HipA in the bacteria, but scientists did not know the cellular target of this toxin and how its activity triggers dormancy of the bacteria.

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