A bacteria discovered in the soil from Northern Ireland can halt the spread of several antibiotic resistant superbugs, new research has found.
The soil the researchers 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 researchers named the new strain of bacteria Streptomyces sp. myrophorea.
The findings published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology showed that the newly-identified strain of Streptomyces inhibited the growth of four of the top six multi-resistant pathogens identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being responsible for healthcare-associated infections.
The four multi-resistant pathogens against which the new strain of bacteria was found effective are — Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Klebsiella pneumonia, and Carbenepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii.
“Our discovery is an important step forward in the fight against antibiotic resistance,” said Paul Dyson, Professor at Swansea University Medical School in Britain.
The researchers also found that Streptomyces sp. myrophorea inhibited both gram positive and gram negative bacteria, which differ in the structure of their cell wall. Usually gram negative bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics.
“The discovery of antimicrobial substances from Streptomyces sp.myrophorea will help in our search for new drugs to treat multi-resistant bacteria, the cause of many dangerous and lethal infections,” said lead researcher Gerry Quinn from Swansea University.
“We will now concentrate on the purification and identification of these antibiotics,” Quinn added.