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Bacteria that can fight nosocomial infections are found in Irish soil.

L.Terra et al. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2018

British and Croatian researchers have discovered a new type of bacteria. Streptomyces which inhibits the growth of ESKAPE pathogens that are resistant to most of the known antibiotics. According to the magazine Frontiers in Microbiologythe microorganism was isolated from the soil of Northern Ireland, which was used in traditional medicine.

The abbreviation ESKAPE combines the names of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics and cause many hospital infections worldwide. Microbiologists often use two strategies to find new substances that can inhibit the growth of pathogens. They examine microorganisms from ecological niches: deserts, thermal springs, alkaline soils. For example, in alkaline soils, bacteria of the genus Streptomyceswhich often produce antimicrobial substances. In addition, scientists pay attention to the means of traditional medicine, which were used before the advent of modern medicines.

Northern Ireland soil

The authors of a new study, led by Paul Dyson of Swansea University, decided to analyze the alkaline soil in Northern Ireland in Fermana Scarlands. In the 19th century, this soil was used to treat infections. They wrapped a small amount of dirt in a cloth and held it near the affected area for nine days or placed it under the patient's pillow. Microbiologists have suggested that the healing properties of the soil may appear due to bacteria Streptomyces who lives in it

To test the hypothesis, scientists collected soil samples and isolated a new type of bacteria, which they called Streptomyces sp. myrophoreaThe fact that bacteria belong to a previously unknown species was demonstrated by the authors by sequencing the genome of the microorganism.

Scientists have tested the properties of bacteria and found that they can grow in highly alkaline media (pH 10.5) and are resistant to gamma radiation up to four kilograms. For comparison: when taking a dose of 10–15 Gray, 50% of those irradiated die within 10–20 days.

As for antimicrobial activity, it turned out that Streptomyces inhibits the growth of four of the six pathogens ESKAPE, including the most common, Acinetobacter baumanniiAccording to the authors of the study, the next step will be the identification and purification of an antibiotic (or antibiotics) produced by bacteria, as well as the study of other microorganisms with antimicrobial properties that scientists have found in the soil of Ireland.

Recently, a new study published in Science Translational Medicine has shown that even high-strength hospital disinfectants lose their effectiveness against super popular insects.

Maria Cervantes
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