Courtesy: G Quinn, University of Swansea.
Researchers analyzing soil from Ireland, long considered medicinal, found that it contains a previously unknown bacterial strain that is effective against four of the six best antibiotic resistant bugs, including MRSA.
According to recent research, by 2050, antibiotic-resistant superbooks in Europe could kill up to 1.3 million people.
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes the problem as "one of the greatest threats to global health, food security and development today." A new bacterial strain was discovered by a team from Swansea University Medical School, which includes researchers from Wales, Brazil, Iraq and Northern Ireland. They called the new strain Streptomyces sp. myrophorea,
The soil they analyzed came from the region of Fermana, Northern Ireland, which is known as the Boho Highlands. This is an area of alkaline pastures, and the soil has healing properties.
The search for replacement antibiotics to combat multiple resistance has led researchers to explore new sources, including traditional medicines: a field of study known as ethnopharmacology. They are also focused on the environment in which such well-known manufacturers of antibiotics as Streptomyces can be found.
One of the researchers, Dr. Jerry Quinn, a former resident of Boho, County Fermana, has known about the healing traditions of the area for many years.
Traditionally, a small amount of soil was wrapped in cotton fabric and used to treat many diseases, including toothache, as well as infections of the throat and neck. Interestingly, this area was previously occupied by druids about 1,500 years ago and by Neolithic people 4,000 years ago.
The main findings of the study were that the newly identified Streptomyces strain:
- The growth inhibition of four of the six main multidrug-resistant pathogens identified by WHO as responsible for health-related infections: vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Klebsiella pneumoniaand carbenepen-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii
- Both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria are inhibited, which differ in the structure of their cell wall; usually gram-negative bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics
It is not clear which component of the new strain prevents the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, but the team is already studying this.
Professor Paul Dyson from Swansea University School of Medicine said: “This new bacterial strain is effective against four of the six leading antibiotic resistant pathogens, including MRSA. Our discovery is an important step forward in the fight against antibiotic resistance. ”
“Our results show that folklore and traditional medicines deserve research in the search for new antibiotics. Scientists, historians and archaeologists can contribute to this task. It seems that part of the solution to this very modern problem may lie in the wisdom of the past. "
Dr. Jerry Quinn of the research group said: “The discovery of antimicrobial substances from Streptomyces sp.myrophorea will help in our search for new drugs for the treatment of multiresistant bacteria, the cause of many dangerous and deadly infections. Now we will focus on cleaning and identifying these antibiotics. We also found additional antibacterial organisms from the same soil that can cover a wider range of multi-resistant pathogens. "
The study was published in Frontiers in Microbiology,
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