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Researchers at Oxford University have shown that it is possible to identify genetic catalysts that accelerate the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria – and that this knowledge could be used to design treatments to stifle the development of resistance.

Scientists identify genetic catalysts that speed up evolution of antibiotic resistance.jpg

The study was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council and is published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Senior author Professor Craig MacLean, from Oxford's Department of Zoology, said: 'It is well established that different species of bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics during infections at very different rates. One potential explanation for this observation is that some species of bacteria may be intrinsically better at evolving resistance to antibiotics than others.'

Find out more (University of Oxford website)