Health In Focus
  • Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the major cause for nosocomial infections (hospital acquired infections).
  • Scientists from University of Tubingen, Germany have discovered a new antibiotic from nasal bacteria.
  • Staphylococcus lugdunensis, produced a new antibiotic substance ‘lugdunin’ which was found to be effective against MRSA infections.
  • Human microbiome proves to be a good source for the discovery of novel antibiotics.

German scientists have discovered a new bacteria from the human nose that is capable of producing an antibiotic substance which could treat dangerous superbugs like Methicillin Resistant Staphylcococcus aureus (MRSA).

The findings of the early stage investigation on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics from nasal bacteria for the treatment of drug resistant bacterial infections was published in the journal Nature.
Human Nose Yields New Antibiotic for Bacterial Infections
Human Nose Yields New Antibiotic for Bacterial Infections

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus - Superbug

Staphylococcus aureus is a gram positive cocci that is mostly found in the nose, respiratory tract and the skin. The bacteria is capable of causing various illness ranging from minor skin infections like pimples and acne to major life-threatening conditions like sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis and endocarditis. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of bacterial infections. Sometimes staphylococcus strains become resistant to antibiotics like penicillins and cephalosporins. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has disclosed that 23,000 people die every year due to antibiotic resistant infections.

Staphylococcus strains that are unable to resist antibiotics (particularly methicillin) are classified under Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This type of staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) seems to be one of the major reasons for nosocomial infections (hospital acquired infections) which kills about 11,000 people per year in the United States. MRSA is also known as the "Superbug" because of the speed in which it transfers the antibiotic-resistant genes from one bacterium to the other.

Research Study on Staphylococcus lugdunensis

German researchers were trying to find a new antibiotic which could kill the germs that already inhabit the body.

Andrew Peschal, the lead scientist of the study and microbiologist at the University of Tubingen, Germany, pointed out that the human nose is the most common entryway through which MRSA enters the body.

The study which was conducted using the nose swab of 37 people by Peschal and colleagues at the University of Tubingen, Germany have found Staphylococcus lugdunensis bacterium in the nostrils that can slowly stop the growth of the infectious bacteria which is responsible for MRSA infections.

Researchers found that the nostril dwelling bacterium Staphylococcus lugdunensis was able to produce an antibiotic compound called ' lugdunin' which is capable of inhibiting the growth of staphylococcus infections. They also showed the growth inhibitions on cell cultures, mice skin and in the nose of cotton rats.

Researchers also said that 'Lugdunin' is known to be the first example for a new class of peptide antibiotics.

This was further analyzed in 187 hospital patients and researchers were able to prove that S.lugdunensis in the human nose was able to keep S. aureus at bay.

Human Microbiome - A New Source for Antibiotics

Antibiotics were found mostly from soil, living micro organisms and from the environment. In the recent studies, researchers are finding new ways and trying to search for new antibiotics inside the human body.

Dr. Nita Salzman, a pathologist at the Medical college of Wisconsin said that the human microbiome is a good source for producing novel antibiotics.

Peschel also said that the human body has a lot of different ecological niches, and it might be the right place for the discovery of new human antibiotics.

He also emphasized that the early stage findings of S. lugdunensis in the nostrils would further require more research and clinical trials in order to develop it into an antibiotic medicine for use.

References :
  1. 'Nose-y' Bacteria Could Yield A New Way To Fight Infection - ( infection)
  2. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - (
Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia