As microbes have become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and antimicrobials scientists have become interested in new solutions to the growing superbug crisis, including the use of defensive microbes and faecal transplants. In new research, Oxford University scientists have developed a lab-based approach, creating positive co-dependent relationships between hosts and bacteria, quickly - termed ‘mutualisms’. These lab-developed bacterial relationships demonstrate how microbes can work with their hosts to prevent infection.
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Defensive host-microbe relationships are prevalent in nature across plants and animals, including humans. The mutual benefit comes from the host benefiting from the protection of the bacteria, and the bacteria then benefiting from the host being a healthy living environment - allowing it to accumulate further over time.
Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments.
A new industry-academic partnership between the University of Oxford and biopharmaceutical company NuCana as found that chemotherapy drug NUC-7738, derived from a Himalayan fungus, has 40 times greater potency for killing cancer cells than its parent compound.
A large study of over 2000 COVID-19 patients has found that giving critically ill patients blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients did not significantly reduce deaths, or the need for intensive care support such as being put on a ventilator machine.
For the second year in a row, The British Medical Journal have selected a publication co-authored by Oxford University researchers for their prestigious UK Research Paper of the Year Award. This award recognises original UK research that has the potential to contribute significantly to improving health and healthcare.