The study, published Thursday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, talks about a crystalline amino acid called glutamine, which can increase the influx and efficacy of a variety of antibiotics against pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria.
Scientists from Sun Yat-sen University found that glutamine was repressed in uropathogenic E. coli which can resist multiple antibiotics.
However, a mouse model test showed that glutamine disarmed bacteria by making their membrane more permeable, thus stimulating the influx of antibiotics into the germ cells. Researchers found glutamine strengthened the killing ability of four types of commonly used antibiotics.
They also found that glutamine can facilitate the production of nucleosides which in turn reduce antibiotic resistance.
The World Health Organization declared antimicrobial resistance one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity.
The findings lend a clue to the development of effective approaches for preventing chronic, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.