Scientists have identified a key process in the way bacteria protect themselves from attack – and it heralds a new strategy in the hunt for antibiotics.

The researchers from the University of Leeds have pieced together how bacteria build their outer, defensive wall – in essence, the cell’s armour plating.

The research has focused on the gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli, but the process they have discovered is shared by many pathogenic gram-negative bacteria – so it could have importance for tackling other gram-negative pathogens, including the top three on the World Health Organisation’s list of priority pathogens.

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