News

AddToAny

Google+ Facebook Twitter Twitter

Under the microscope: Streptomyces sp. myrophorea

This month: Streptomyces sp. myrophorea

That is not a strain of bacteria I’ve ever heard of.

That’s not a shortcoming on your part – details of its discovery have only just been published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

Where was it discovered?

In soil from Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, which is known as “the Boho Highlands”. It is an area of alkaline grassland and it has previously been claimed that the soil has healing properties.

Why were they looking there?

The search for replacement antibiotics has prompted researchers to explore new sources, including folk medicines. One of the research team, Dr Gerry Quinn, a previous resident of Boho, County Fermanagh, had been aware of the healing traditions of the area for many years.

Tell me more about what these traditions involved.

A small amount of soil was wrapped up in cotton cloth and used to heal many ailments, including toothache, throat and neck infections. Interestingly, the area was previously occupied by the Druids, around 1,500 years ago, and Neolithic people 4,000 years ago.

Have the team been studying this new strain of Streptomyces?

Yes – they have found it inhibits the growth of four of the top six multi-resistant pathogens identified by the WHO as being responsible for healthcare-associated infections: Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Carbenepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii.

What happens next?

It is not yet clear which component of the new strain prevents the growth of the pathogens, but the team is already investigating this and will now focussing on the purification and identification of these antibiotics.

Picture credit | iStock

Related Articles

p10-13-news-colon-perforation-science-photo-library-c0393124.jpg

Helpful and harmful gut immune cells

A type of immune cell that contributes to inflammatory bowel disease exists in two forms – “good” and “bad”.

p10-13-news-prostate-cancer-science-photo-library-f0236971.jpg

New barometer for inflammatory disease

A unique discovery about the nature of neutrophils may lead to new models for diagnosing and tracking inflammatory diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis. 

sarah_may_bw_0.jpg

What’s in a name?

The role of the biomedical scientist has evolved, but more work is needed to change public awareness.

Autoimmunity symposium

Autoimmunity symposium

To celebrate the launch of the Zenit PRO, Menarini Diagnostics hosted an Autoimmunity symposium. This was attended by scientific staff from across the country despite very challenging weather conditions. The following is an account by Ms Amani Elhouderi of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; reflecting on the day’s events.

Top