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Superbugs and Superdrugs: Researchers Identify 10 New Immune Systems in Bacteria

Salmonella Bacteria
Credit: Shutterstock

Bacteria have been defending themselves from phages—viruses that attack bacterial cells—for billions of years, and, unlocking the immune mechanisms they use to protect themselves has led to the development of powerful molecular biology tools such as restriction enzymes and CRISPR-Cas9.

Now, researchers have discovered 10 more immune systems that bacteria use to protect themselves against phages and plasmids, opening up the possibility to add new tools to the molecular biology toolbox, according to reporting from The Scientist.

“Whenever a complex immune system is discovered, and its mechanism is eventually understood, it can become a very effective tool. Immune systems must be highly selective in identifying specific molecules in order to function well. In molecular biology, this is exactly what we need,” noted Rotem Sorek, a molecular geneticist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

This discovery could have a huge impact on AMR as it opens new opportunities, but also brings new challenges.

Taking place in London on 19 – 20th March, the theme for the SMi’s Superbugs & Superdrugs Conference is to tackle the scientific, regulatory and economic challenges to combat AMR.  Hear exclusive case studies on clinical progress and evaluate the latest incentives and funding solutions to build your antibiotic pipeline.

In addition, the University of North Texas Health Science Center will hold a post-conference workshop on 21 March for interactive training on the use of animal models in pre-clinical drug development.

The latest agenda, speaker line-up and attendee list available at

Available to view – Christopher Houchens’ (BARDA) presentation from the last year’s Superbugs & Superdrugs Conference, where you can find information on BARDA’s Mission, Funding Antibacterial Development, National Strategy and Action Plan for CARB, Insufficient Pipeline, Industry Disengagement, BARDA’s Goal, Strategy and Priorities, WHO AMR Priorities, Portfolio Partnerships, What to Expect from CARB-X.

Hear current updates on the above from Mark Albrecht, Health Scientist, HHS/ASPR/BARDA who will be presenting at the Superbugs & Superdrugs Conference this March.

Exclusive interviews with Domingo Gargallo-Viola (ABAC Therapeutics); David Brown (Alchemy Biomedical Consulting), John George (Oppilotech), Lloyd Czaplewski (Chemical Biology Ventures) and Richard Bax (TranScrip Partners) are available at (navigate to Download Centre)

Secure your place at or call Fateja Begum on +44 (0)20 7827 6184

Global Biodefense is an official media partner of Superbugs and Superdrugs 2018.

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