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Turning to freshwater sources to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis, other infections

Date:
April 8, 2015
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
The discovery of antibiotics produced by soil fungi and bacteria gave the world life-saving medicine. But new antimicrobials from this resource have become scarce as the threat of drug resistance grows. Now, scientists have started mining lakes and rivers for potential pathogen-fighters, and they've found one from Lake Michigan that is effective against drug-resistant tuberculosis.
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The discovery of antibiotics produced by soil fungi and bacteria gave the world life-saving medicine. But new antimicrobials from this resource have become scarce as the threat of drug resistance grows. Now, scientists have started mining lakes and rivers for potential pathogen-fighters, and they've found one from Lake Michigan that is effective against drug-resistant tuberculosis. Their report on the new compound appears in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases.

Brian T. Murphy and colleagues point out that the emergence of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a serious, global health threat. In 2013, these bacteria caused 210,000 deaths globally and 480,000 infections, of which more than half were in China, India and Russia, according to the World Health Organization.

The development of new antibiotics to fight them has not yet yielded an optimal solution. Despite a few recent successes, scientists are having a hard time finding new candidates from soil-dwelling microbes. Murphy's team wanted to see whether bacteria that live in freshwater -- a habitat that has been largely unexplored for this purpose -- could be a new source of antibiotics.

The researchers screened an extensive collection of freshwater bacteria metabolites and identified a new compound that stops the growth of M. tuberculosis. In lab tests, the compound worked at least as well as current treatments for tuberculosis, and it inhibited drug-resistant strains.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Michael W. Mullowney, Chang Hwa Hwang, Andrew G. Newsome, Xiaomei Wei, Urszula Tanouye, Baojie Wan, Skylar Carlson, Nanthida Joy Barranis, Eoghainín Ó hAinmhire, Wei-Lun Chen, Kalyanaraman Krishnamoorthy, John White, Rachel Blair, Hyunwoo Lee, Joanna E. Burdette, Pradipsinh K. Rathod, Tanya Parish, Sanghyun Cho, Scott G. Franzblau, Brian T. Murphy. Diaza-anthracene Antibiotics from a Freshwater-Derived Actinomycete with Selective Antibacterial Activity towardMycobacterium tuberculosis. ACS Infectious Diseases, 2015; 150312084313000 DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.5b00005

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Turning to freshwater sources to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis, other infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150408113623.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2015, April 8). Turning to freshwater sources to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis, other infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150408113623.htm
American Chemical Society. "Turning to freshwater sources to fight drug-resistant tuberculosis, other infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150408113623.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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