Under the looming threat of antibiotic resistance, scientists are working to develop the next generation of bacteria-destroying drugs. This month in Genome Research, researchers from Hoffman-La Roche report using 'bacteria chips' to study the action of two currently popular antibiotics. Their results suggest new directions for developing antibiotic drugs.
Hans Gmuender and colleagues took advantage of so-called "gene chips," tiny devices that monitor gene activity in a specific organism. Using a chip for the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, they monitored H. influenzae gene activity in the presence of two commonly used antibiotics, Novobiocin and Ciprofloxacin. The two antibiotics produced clearly different gene "signatures" on the bacteria chip, indicating that each affects a specific set of genes, which are distinguishable using genome technology. This technology will help in classifying and developing novel antibiotics to combat increasingly resistant bacterial strains.
F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd
(Also this month in Genome Research, Timothy Palzkill (Baylor College of Medicine) comments on the Gmuender et al. article in "Impending Doom: Antibiotic Exposure and Bacterial Gene Expression.")