Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic, which they say may fight two dangerous germs that bedevil hospitals.
Stephen Soisson, a senior scientist at Merck Research Laboratories and his colleagues looked at 250,000 extracts from natural products, including samples of soil and leaf debris from around the world, the health portal HealthDay News said.
AdvertisementThey discovered the antibiotic in South African soil, which they say could fight staph an infection known as that can cause pneumonia in hospital settings and skin infections in the general population.
It may also fight another infection named as Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) that live in the digestive and genital tracts and people infected often need prolonged treatment, usually with several antibiotics being given together by injection.
The researchers tested their antibiotic known as platensimycin derived from a substance found in the soil released by mice and found that it vanquished both MRSA and VRE.
Apparently, the antibiotic works by disrupting the way cells synthesise crucial fatty acids, the scientists said in their work that appeared in the May 18 issue of Nature.