Freshwater compound may help fight drug-resistant TB

Freshwater sources may help fight drug-resistant TB and other infections. | Courtesy of
Scientists recently discovered an antimicrobial in Lake Michigan that may be effective in treating drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and similar infections.

Inspired by antibiotics created from bacteria and soil fungi in the past, the research team, led by Brian T. Murphy, found the new compound while mining lakes and rivers for potential pathogen-fighters.

Drug-resistant TB poses a serious threat around the globe. 

In 2013 alone, approximately 210,000 people died from drug-resistant TB, and there was a total of 480,000 drug-resistant TB infections, mostly in India, China and Russia, the World Health Organization reported. 

New antibiotics have not proven effective in treating drug-resistant TB. There have been a few recent successes from soil-dwelling microbes, but overall scientists have had difficulty finding new solutions from these microbes.

Follow-up lab tests conducted by Murphy's team found the new compound was just as effective as current treatments for 
tuberculosis, including drug-resistant strains.

More details can be found in the ACS Infectious Diseases journal.

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