New CRISPR system efficiently battles antibiotic resistance

Black, Samantha,  The Science Advisory Board,  2019.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego have developed a brand new CRISPR-based gene-drive system that dramatically increases the efficiency of inactivation of genes responsible for antibiotic resistance. The new system is detailed on December 16 in Nature Communications.

Genes conferring antibiotic resistance are often found on plasmids, circular forms of DNA that can replicate independently of the bacterial genome. Amplification effects of these plasmids can lead to the transfer of antibiotic resistance among bacteria. This poses a significant challenge to disrupt this function. Researchers have developed several cut-and-destroy methods but have had only moderate success with them.