Mining nature for the next groundbreaking antibiotic
PRI - 03/12/2017
The problem is antibiotic resistance: Infectious diseases are outpacing the ability of current drugs to fight them. Part of the challenge is in finding new antibiotic sources. Most current antibiotics come from bacteria found in the soil, but Kim Lewis, who directs Northeastern University’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center, says only about 1 percent of soil microbes can be cultured easily in petri dishes.
“But then you hit upon the remaining 99 percent, also known in microbiology as the microbial dark matter, that does not readily grow in the lab,” he says. “And that is a big problem.”