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New Superbug Killing Antibiotic Discovered Right Under Our Nose

First Posted: Jul 29, 2016 04:58 AM EDT
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German scientists discovered that a certain bacteria hiding out in people's noses could produce and antibiotic compound that could possibly kill several dangerous pathogens. In its early stages, scientists reported that this bacteria could one day lead to the development of a new class of antibiotics that could fight drug-resistant bacterial infections.

Fox News noted that the nasal cavity has a rich ecosystem of 50 or so different species of bacteria. "(That's) the reason why we looked at this particular body site." The study's lead researcher, Andreas Peschel of the university of Tuebingen shared. "It led us to some very unexpected and exciting findings that may be very helpful in looking for new concepts for the development of antibiotics."

The new drug is named lugdunin, and according to the study published in the journal Nature, it originated from the name of the bacteria present in human nostrils. Lugdunin is produced by the nostril-dwelling bacterium called Staphylococcus lugdunensis, which, in experiments with mice, could effectively treat a skin infection caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause serious infections.

However, according to Independent UK, it is yet to give indication of whether or not it allows the bacteria it attacks to develop resistance as it mutates.

This could be a good thing: no new antibiotic had been developed since the 1980s and antimicrobial drug resistance had been a growing concern. Dr. Peschel's team discovered that those who had the S. lugdunensis bacteria naturally present in their body are less likely to host S. aureus. Mice with skin lesions infected with the S. aureus bacteria were found cured in both the upper and deeper layers of their skin.

Most antibiotics discovered have been isolated from the soil or other environmental bacteria, but researchers said that their latest discovery highlights the value of the human microbiome as a new source. "The human body has a lot of different ecological niches. Maybe this is just the right place to look for new human antibiotics," Peschel said.

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