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Mauro_Biello

Bacterial resistance

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I was reading on Wikipedia about phototherapy and it said that bacterial resistance would be less likely than with antibiotics. Can someone explain to me why would bacteria have a harder time adapting to light?

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The reason bacteria is destroyed by light therapy (laser), is the laser destroys the bacterial cell wall and subsequently damages their cellular DNA. When the bacteria's DNA is damaged, it is unable to synthesize the necessary nutrients needed for survival. Damage to the cell wall essentially results in bacterial cell death, since its main barrier for protection against the elements is damaged, thus anything can get into and out of the cell.....but resistance to light can occur because their is a strand of E.coli that is resistant to UV light.....Keep in mind the amount of damage to the bacteria is dependent upon the wavelength of the light... for example the shorter the UV wavelength, the more bacteriacidal (death)...

With antibiotics, the bacteria learn to adapt to them via passing a plasmid (conjugation -"reproduction" for bacteria) to other bacteria it comes in contact with. A plasmid (extrachromasomal DNA) can essentially provide their hosts with useful packages of DNA to assist in mutual survival in times of severe stress, such as needing to survive in an antibiotic environment. This type of resistance is hard to control, since bacteria can produce up to 1 million in a day, with all of them containing the resistance gene.

In my opinion, with laser therapy, the bacteria's "machinary" is damaged and thus unable to pass on resistance as effectively genetically as opposed to bacterial resistance with antibiotics.

Sorry this is so long...hope this helps

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Yea, that helped a lot.

My laser appointment is this Thursday actually- i hope it works well

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Well....not sure if you meant light or laser....but here's is why its harder for bacteria to adapt to light than to antibiotics. The reason is that the light directly attacks the bacteria's inner machinery (porphyrin). Antibiotics affect the bacteria from the surface. So theoretically, it should be more difficult to evolve an entire alternative machinery to replace porphyrin system than to simply evolve to neutralize an external chemical (afterall bacteria already do this with other harmful chemials). The replacement for porphyrin has to not only do its function, but also must be able to integrate with the rest of the bacterial machinery as porphyrin already does.

The level of complexity (and hence: difficulty) is far greater in replacing a system than in neutralizing a chemical.

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