ChBE Special Seminar: Sarika Mehra

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
ChBE Conference Room, 2113A, Bldg. 090
Dr. Ganesh Sriram

Sarika Mehra
ChE Associate Professor
IIT Bombay, India 

Understanding multi-drug resistance in bacteria and a nanoparticle based solution

Over the past decade, antimicrobial resistance has emerged as a major public-health crisis, especially in developing countries as more and more clinically relevant pathogens are developing resistance. With the emergence of multi drug-resistant (MDR) and extreme drug-resistant (XDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains, there is an urgent need to find novel solutions to counter this resistance. Using Streptomyces coelicolor and Mycobacterium smegmatis as model systems, we are studying how bacteria modulate their gene expression to respond, adapt and evolve under stress such as that from antibiotics.

We are also working at ways to counter antibiotic resistance using nano-particles. We have recently demonstrated that a combination of coated iron-oxide nano-particles and anti-TB drugs (for example, rifampicin or isoniazid) can lower the minimum inhibitory  concentration required to kill M. smegmatis, and thus overcome intrinsic resistance. While the nano-particles themselves are not toxic, a synergistic effect is observed, when used in combination with  the  drug.  We  have  demonstrated, for the first time, through accumulation and efflux kinetics, that nano-particles inhibit active efflux of molecules from M. smegmatis cells. Further, to mimic clinically resistant strains, we have recently demonstrated that the nano-particles are effective against laboratory-derived highly drug resistant strains.

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