For the first time, Australian scientists have confirmed a link between the role common fish oil plays in disrupting the ability of ‘superbugs’ to become resistant to antibiotics.
discovery led by Flinders University and recently published in an international journal. mBioIt was found that the antimicrobial activity of fish oil fatty acids could prove a simple and safe supplement for people taking antibiotics to fight infections more effectively.
“It is important that our study indicates that a key antibiotic resistance mechanism in cells may be negatively affected by dietary fat absorption in omega-3s,” said microbiologist Dr. Bart Eijkelkamp, head of the laboratory. Bacterial adaptation research at Flinders University said.
“In experiments and modeling supercomputers, We found that these fatty acids in fish oil make bacteria more susceptible to many common antibiotics.”
Associate Professor Megan O’Mara, co-author from Australian National University.
The research is significant in infectious diseases caused by bacteria such as Acinetobacter baumannii, a leading hospital pathogen with unprecedented levels of antibiotic resistance worldwide.
Dr. Felice Adams, another co-author, said: “With the rise of superbugs now, we’ve been able to show that greedy bacteria are unable to differentiate between ‘good and bad’ host fatty acids, and will consume all of them during infection,” said the co-authors. Another from Dr. Felise Adams from Flinders University.
“Our research shows that fish oil fatty acids become part of the bacterial membrane and make the invading bacterial membrane more susceptible to the antibiotic used to attack it.”
“We know that Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the world’s most famous multidrug-resistant pathogens. But the host’s response to stress is poorly understood.”
Professor Anton Peleg, Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Alfred Hospital. Melbourne said: “These studies provide new insights into the potential benefits of omega-3 supplements for bacterial infections. especially during antibiotic treatment.
“To Create or Use: Bacterial Lipid Imbalance During Infection” by Felise G Adams, Claudia Trappetti, Jack K Waters, Maoge Zang, Erin B Brazel, James C Paton, Marten F Snel and Bart A Eijkelkamp, June 9, 2021 mBio.
“Membrane composition determines the spatial organization and function of the drug outflow system. Acinetobacter baumannii” by Maoge Zang, Hugo MacDermott-Opeskin, Felice G Adams, Varsha Naidu, Jack K Waters, Ashley B Carey, Alex Ashenden, Kimberley T McLean, Erin B Brazel, Jhih Hang Jiang, Alessandra Panizza, Claudia Trappetti, James C. Paton, Anton Y Peleg, Ingo Köper, Ian T Paulsen, Karl A Hassan, Megan L O’Mara and Bart A Eijkelkamp, 9 June 20201, mBio.
The two research publications consisted of collaborators from ANU, Macquarie University, University of Adelaide, Monash University, University of Newcastle and SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), funded by the NHMRC Project Grants 1140554 to the MLO and 1159752 and support cooperation