Bacteria found in ancient Irish soil halts growth of superbugs: New hope for tackling antibiotic resistance

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Swansea University

Antibiotic resistant bacteria, diseases and conditions are becoming more and more resilient, with even our top of the line antibiotics becoming futile in the fight against their spread. However - agriculture may offer a solution. Recently, scientist made a break through in the fight against antibiotic resistance when they found a possible solution in soil. Learn more about how this soil discovery may change the face of antibiotic resistance in the excerpt below from Science Daily.

Researchers analysing soil from Ireland long thought to have medicinal properties have discovered that it contains a previously unknown strain of bacteria which is effective against four of the top six superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA.

Antibiotic resistant superbugs could kill up to 1.3 million people in Europe by 2050, according to recent research.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes the problem as "one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today."

The new strain of bacteria was discovered by a team based in Swansea University Medical School, made up of researchers from Wales, Brazil, Iraq and Northern Ireland.

They have named the new strain Streptomyces sp. myrophorea.

The soil they analysed originated from an area of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, which is known as the Boho Highlands. It is an area of alkaline grassland and the soil is reputed to have healing properties.

The search for replacement antibiotics to combat multi-resistance has prompted researchers to explore new sources, including folk medicines: a field of study known as ethnopharmacology. They are also focusing on environments where well-known antibiotic producers like Streptomyces can be found.

Read more here.