Gene editing tool could help reduce spread of antimicrobial resistance

May 26, 2023
Paper published in Microbiology.

An emerging device that holds potential in curbing the expansion of antimicrobial resistance is demonstrating initial success by utilizing a bacterial immune system as a gene manipulation instrument, according to research from The University of Exeter.

The Exeter team utilized the CRISPR-Cas gene editing system, which has the ability to selectively target and cleave specific DNA sequences. They ingeniously engineered a plasmid designed to specifically target the resistance gene associated with Gentamicin, a widely used antibiotic.

In laboratory experiments published in the journal Microbiology, recent research discovered that the engineered plasmid exhibited the ability to shield its host cell from developing resistance. Notably, the researchers observed that the plasmid successfully targeted antimicrobial resistant genes in recipient hosts, leading to a reversal of their resistance.

University of Exeter release on Newswise