Raising hopes of a potent new weapon in the fight against rising antibiotic resistance, scientists have discovered in soil samples a new family of antibiotics that could eventually be used to combat hard-to-treat infections.
Tests showed the compounds, called malacidins, annihilate several bacterial diseases that have become resistant to most existing antibiotics, including the superbug MRSA, short for meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that mainly affects people staying in hospital, according to the study published in the journal Nature Microbiology.
In experiments with rats, the compound eliminated MRSA infection.
With a view to developing the compounds into a real treatment for people, the researchers are now working to improve the drug's effectiveness.
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