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Resistance to Antibiotics Can Be Drawback for Bacteria

Neisseria meningitidis, the meningococcus, is a bacterium that can cause diseases with high fatality rates, and there has therefore been considerable concern that, like other bacteria, it might become resistant to antibiotics. But now a study from Örebro University and Örebro University Hospital in Sweden shows that there has not been any increase in resistant meningococci in Sweden over the last 15 years.

According to researcher Sara Thulin Hedberg, the reason for this may be that it is not especially advantageous for bacteria to develop resistance.

Meningococci are usually harmless bacteria, and about one person in ten carries them in their throats or airways without knowing it. But they can also make their way into the blood and through the blood-brain barrier and cause blood poisoning and/or meningitis, and then the fatality rate is high, about 10 percent.

It has therefore been disturbing to see reports from most countries in recent years that meningococci have also begun to be more resistant to antibiotics. But now Sara Thulin Hedberg can establish in her doctoral dissertation in biomedicine that this is not the case in Sweden at present. Even though some of the bacteria have become resistant to individual preparations, they have not increased in number and do not seem to be spreading in society.
 
 

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