Antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis is a global threat. It is estimated that by 2040, more than a third of all TB cases in Russia will show resistance to the primary drugs used for treating the disease. It is, therefore, necessary to identify new drugs and therapies that can help prevent antibiotic-resistant TB. A research team led by Gregory L. Challis (Monash Warwick Alliance Professor of Sustainable Chemistry, Chemical and Synthetic Biology) and Eshwar Mahenthiralingam (Director of Research at Cardiff University) tested the bacterial genus Burkholderia to check its efficacy in fighting TB. Burkholderia can thrive in any conditions and a range of habitats from soil to human lung, and to do so, it creates antibiotics that enable its survival. The research team isolated the species Burkholderia gladioli from the lung of a child with cystic fibrosis and found that the bacterial species produces an antibiotic called gladolin. This antibiotic successfully blocked the growth of four drug-resistant TB strains.
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