Superbug Breakthrough: Scientists Looking To Soil For Treatment Options

antibiotic-resistant superbug

A superbug breakthrough is evolving courtesy of the scientists at McMaster University. The researchers have succeeded in laying the groundwork for “highly effective” antibiotics to thwart the increasingly resistant bacteria. By isolating the naturally present antibiotics in soil bacteria, new and effective drugs can be produced to impact current strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology.

Soil fungi are often used in the production of antibiotics, but sifting through the millions of potentially useful strains to curtail the superbug is likely to take quite a while. Penicillin was discovered in this manner when fungi and bacteria were routinely screened during the 40s and 50s.

DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research Scientific Director Gerry Wright had this to say about searching for a superbug cure:

“It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It’s like back to the future. Soil bacteria and soil fungi are where we found them to being with and we drifted away from that source.”

Scientists are going old school and mixing soil samples with commercially available antibiotics in Petri dishes. The process reportedly kills off the majority of the bacteria and allows the researches to focus specifically on “naturally-occurring” antibiotics related to the remaining bacteria.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning about the overuse of antibiotics. The officials at the CDC feel that such overuse in both the agricultural and healthcare industries prompted the increase of resistant germs – spawning infections with no know treatment.

CDC Director Thomas Frieden told the New York Daily News that there has been a steady increase in resistance rates. Frieden also said, “We don’t have new drugs about to come out of the pipeline. If and when we get new drugs, unless we do a better job of protecting them, we’ll lose those also.”

Are you concerned about an overuse of antibiotics and a superbug?

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