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Disarming disease-causing bacteria

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New treatments that combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance by disarming rather than killing bacteria may be on the horizon, according to a new study.

Published in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology, research led by Monash University showed a protein complex called the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM), formed a type of molecular pump in bacteria. The TAM allows bacteria to shuttle key disease-causing molecules from inside the bacterial cell where they are made, to the outside surface, priming the bacteria for infection.

"The TAM was discovered in many disease-causing bacteria, from micro-organisms that cause whooping cough and meningitis, to hospital-acquired bacteria that are developing resistance to current antibiotics," Mr Selkrig said.

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