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Ireland's land and grass are the antidote for four antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria


"Our results show that it is worth investigating folklore and traditional medicines in the search for new antibiotics," said Professor Paul Dyson of the School of Medicine of the University of Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom . This phrase represents a whole change in the science approach that some ancestors are looking for answers to the problems of the present.

It is that an unknown strain of a bacterium found in Ireland's soil proved to be effective against four of the six major antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria.

According to a recent investigation, antibiotic-resistant super-bacteria could kill up to 1.3 million people in Europe by 2050. For the World Health Organization it represents "one of the greatest threats to global health, the food security and current development ".

The new strain of bacteria, which was called Streptomyces sp. Myrophorea, was discovered by a team composed of researchers from Wales, Brazil, Iraq and Northern Ireland. The work was published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

The promise of ethnopharmacology

The ground they analyzed originated in an area of ​​Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, which is known as the "Highlands of Boho". It is an "alkaline" pasture area and it was always said that they had healing properties.

The search for new antibiotics to combat multiple resistance led researchers to explore new sources, including popular medicines: a field of study known as ethnopharmacology. You are also focusing on environments where you can find well-known antibiotic producers such as Streptomyces.

A land with healing properties

One of the members of the research team, Gerry Quinn, a former resident of Boho, in the town of Fermanagh, had been aware of the healing traditions of the area for many years. Traditionally, a small amount of soil was wrapped in a cotton cloth and was used to cure many diseases, such as toothache, neck and neck infections. Curiously, this area was previously occupied by the Druids, about 1500 years ago, and the Neolithic 4,000 years ago.

"The main findings of the investigation were that the recently identified Streptomyces strain inhibited the growth of four of the six main multi-resistant pathogens identified by the WHO as responsible for the infections associated with medical attention: Enterococcus vancomycin-resistant faecit (VRE), vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Klebsiella pneumonia and carbenepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii ", experts said.

The mysteries to solve

It is still unclear what component of the new strain prevents the growth of pathogens, but the team is already investigating this.

Dyson concluded: "Our discovery is an important step forward in the fight against resistance to antibiotics. We must investigate traditional medicines. Scientists, historians and archeologists may have something to contribute to this task. It seems that part of the answer to this very modern problem could be in the wisdom of the past. "

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