What if,giving mice dietary iron supplements enabled them to survive a normally lethal bacterial infection?
Salk Institute researchers report that giving mice dietary iron supplements enabled them to survive a normally lethal bacterial infection and resulted in later generations of those bacteria being less virulent. The approach, which appears in the journal Cell on August 9, 2018, demonstrates in preclinical studies that non-antibiotic-based strategies--such as nutritional interventions--can shift the relationship between the patient and pathogens away from antagonism and toward coopeiAntibiotics and antimicrobials are one of the most important advances in medicine, and we definitely need to continue efforts focused on developing new classes of antimicrobials," says Associate Professor Janelle Ayres, who holds the Helen McLoraine Developmental Chair and is senior author of the new paper. "But we need to learn from history and think about other ways to treat infectious diseases. Our work suggests that instead of killing bacteria, if we promote the health of the host, we can tame the behavior of the bacteria so that they don't cause disease, and we can actually drive the evolution of less dangerous strains."nk.
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