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News Release

Embargoed for release: 5 p.m. Monday, July 9, 2007

New way to target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria found

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bacteria graphic

Caption: Antibiotic resistance propagates in bacteria by moving DNA strands containing the resistance genes to neighboring cells. An enzyme called relaxase is essential for this process. Bisphosphonates, already approved to treat bone loss, have now been shown to potently disrupt the relaxase function. Some bisphosphonates prevent the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes and selectively kill bacterial cells that harbor resistance. Image courtesy of Scott Lujan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

News Services contact: Becky Oskin, (919) 962-8596 or becky_oskin@unc.edu