Source of new antibiotics found in plastic trash in the ocean

A team of researchers led by the Scripps Oceanographic Institution has incubated

high and low density polyethylene plastic(the most common types of plastic) in water for 90 days. This resulted in colonies of five different antibiotic-producing bacteria, including strains of Bacillus, Phaeobacter and Vibrio, on the plastic.

The researchers isolated isolates, pure speciescultures of bacteria, and tested their effect on various Gram-positive and negative targets. Antibiotics have proven effective against widespread bacteria and two resistant strains.

According to scientists, annually in the ocean enters fromfive to 13 million metric tons of plastic waste. This estimate includes both large objects and microplastic particles. Garbage "heaps" are rich in biomass, and the competitive environment is a great place to produce new types of antibiotics, the authors of the study explain.

Given the current antibiotic crisis and the rise of superbugs, it is important to look for alternative sources of new antibiotics.

Andrea Price, National University researcher and co-author

The microbiologists plan to continue the project by studying colonies of microorganisms that form in plastic waste in search of new drugs.

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