Scientists found a new class of antibiotics while they were studying soil microbes.
They say these antibiotics could kill deadly superbugs without triggering resistance.
Their discovery prompts them to believe there’s “a reservoir of antibiotics in the environment we haven’t accessed yet,” said Sean Brady, an associate professor at Rockefeller University in New York, who led the study.
The published their findings in the journal Nature Microbiology, writing that these antibiotics kill superbugs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a potentially deadly infection that is resistant to several antibiotics.
A team led by Brady discovered the new class of antibiotics, called malacidins, while cloning and sequencing DNA from microorganisms in soil samples contributed by people across the United States, The Washington Post reported.
They were looking for microorganisms with a known gene that acts as an “on/off” switch and makes it more difficult for microbes to develop antibiotic resistance, per the Post.