Threat of drug-resistant bacteria

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States has seen a staggering 2.8 million cases of drug-resistant infections.[1] Globally, drug-resistant infections have led to 5 million deaths in 2019.[2] Unfortunately, the number of patients with drug-resistant infections continues to rise, and by 2050 drug-resistant bacteria are projected to cause 10 million deaths annually.[3] The Japanese Government released an action plan combating antimicrobial resistance.[4]This highlights the significant impact of drug-resistant infections as a pressing issue, as they could cause the next pandemic.

Drug-resistant bacteria and antibiotics are waging an endless battle

Currently, in the medical field, serious infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria are managed by using antibiotics to eliminate them. However, there are a few pathogenic bacteria known as drug-resistant bacteria that possess mechanisms to resist the effects of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill surrounding bacteria, allowing drug-resistant bacteria to thrive. As a result, new antibiotics are developed to combat these drug-resistant bacteria. While antibiotics such as cefamycin and carbapenem are effective against currently existing drug-resistant bacteria, there is a significant possibility that bacteria resistant to even these valuable antibiotics may emerge in the future.

This endless arms race between bacteria and humankind is the current reality. It is expected that drug-resistant strains will continue to emerge with this approach. It is crucial to explore alternative approaches to combat drug-resistant bacteria instead of relying solely on administering antibiotics. By establishing an environment that enables the rapid and effective development of therapeutic drugs when new drug-resistant bacteria emerge, we can work towards preventing a pandemic caused by drug-resistant bacteria.


New treatment method "VariantGuard"

What's VariantGuard?

VariantGuard is a project proposed by the gifu team to find new solutions for infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Variant - Multiple mutated antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Guard - Protect people from antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Our Project

Through this project, we aim to establish a basic technology to deal with a wide range of current and related species.Antibiotics are used in many medical settings to control infections caused by pathogens. However, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of these pathogens due to genetic mutation, horizontal spread, and selection of resistant strains has become a problem. We focused on the impact of antibiotic resistance genes on society. We thought that by knocking out antibiotic resistance genes using CRISPR-Cas9, it would be possible to deal with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and continue to use antibiotics conventionally used in the medical field.