Antioxidant Strategies to Tolerate Antibiotics

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Science  18 Nov 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6058, pp. 915-916
DOI: 10.1126/science.1214823

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In living organisms, aerobic metabolism produces toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) (1). Life can thus be seen as a balance between metabolic rate and a cell's ability to detoxify ROS. This understanding has led to intense public interest and increased consumption of dietary antioxidants. Although the effectiveness of antioxidant supplements is not yet established, there is no doubt that eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells have developed efficient endogenous antioxidant mechanisms (1, 2). On pages 982 and 986 of this issue, Nguyen et al. (3) and Shatalin et al. (4) describe two such mechanisms that confer antibiotic tolerance in bacteria.

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