Fungi A Promising Solution For Drug-Resistant Bacteria

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Apr 25, 2017 01:07 PM EDT

Many bacteria are creating their own defense against antibiotics thus some have been resistant to treatment causing ordinary infections to become fatal. Fortunately, researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, discovered fungi as a potential antibiotic.

Antibiotics are medicines that treat or inhibit bacterial infections and growth. However, bacteria and other disease-causing microbes can become resistant to antibiotics due to prolonged or widespread use.

According to Science Daily, the primary antibiotics to be widely produced were penicillin, which was obtained from Penicillium fungi. The researchers sequenced the genomes of nine various types of Penicillium species and their findings were great.

"We found that the fungi have enormous, previously untapped, potential for the production of new antibiotics and other bioactive compounds, such as cancer medicines," Jens Christian Nielsen, a Ph.D. student at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering said. The team published their findings in the journal, Nature Microbiology.

The researchers scanned genomes of 24 different kinds of fungi. This is with their goal to look for the genes that are responsible for the production of several bioactive compounds such as antibiotics.

They then determined 1000 pathways that presented great capacity of fungi in producing a wide class of natural and bioactive chemicals. These substances could be utilized in the development of new antibiotics.

The researchers could predict the chemical output derived from the pathways in almost 90 cases. They tracked the production of the antibiotic called yanuthone and discovered new fungi that are capable of producing this compound. Furthermore, some species could also yield a new and maybe more effective variant of the drug, Medical News Today reported.

The researchers concluded that "this study is the first genus-wide analysis of the genomic diversity of Penicillia and highlights the potential of these species as a source of new antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals."

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