A New Antibiotic Kills Pathogens

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Antibiotics are secondary metabolites expressed by a microorganism against other microorganisms as a means to compete for limited resources and are thought to have originated from soil-dwelling microbes (D’costa). Many of our current antibiotic therapies were derived directly from soil-dwelling microorganisms, including but not limited to Bacillus, Streptomyces, and Penicillium (cite). Therefore, it is logical that the search for novel antibiotic therapies should continue with soil microbes. Unfortunately, isolation of potential antibiotic drugs from soil microorganisms remains a challenge. Over 99% of microbial life is incapable of being cultured via traditional methods (Lewis). This means that new culturing approaches are required to isolate potential antibiotic producers. Fortunately, progress has recently been made in this endeavor. The methods that follow have been derived from a paper published in Nature in January 2015, titled “A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance.” Utilizing a new means of culturing soil microbes, researchers discovered a previously uncharacterized antibiotic, teixobactin, derived from a β-proteobacteria called Eleftheria terrae (Ling). The techniques utilized in this paper have shown that there are untapped resources for antimicrobial therapies yet to be discovered. Soil samples can be taken from various geographic locations and depths. Utilizing a culturing device called an iChip, researchers can better replicate the
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