Marine microorganisms vs ‘superbugs’ discovered

A breakthrough research program funded by the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP) has discovered microorganisms which can kill “superbugs” or bacteria that are resistant to modern antibiotics.

The research program “Marine Sediment-Derived Actinobacteria: New Vista for Natural Products Discovery in the Philippines” was led by NCRP researcher Dr. Doralyn Dalisay.

Dalisay’s team discovered special types of microorganism from sediments collected from the ocean floor which have demonstrated an ability to kill aggressive disease-causing pathogens or superbugs, the DOST-NRCP said in a bulletin post.

Superbugs refer to bacteria which have developed genes that are resistant to different antibiotics. In effect, the infections caused by superbugs are harder to treat.

“The findings are quite promising and if more microorganisms like these will be discovered and tested, this [endeavor] will place the Philippines in the global frontiers of medical and therapeutic research,” said Dalisay, who is based in University of San Agustin in Iloilo.

“The highly biodiverse marine microorganisms thriving in the sediments surrounding the Philippine archipelago have not been investigated well with regard to their potential for developing products that are of interest in biotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences”, Dr. Dalisay added.

The NRCP bared that the extracts from the library “showed strong inhibitory activities against a panel of test pathogenic drug-resistant bacteria and fungi.”

The NRCP said the first and second phase of the research program focused on isolating marine sediment-derived microorganisms, determine their antimicrobial activities and bio-geographical distribution in the Philippine archipelago.

The research is now on its third phase which aims to “evaluate the microorganisms’ anti-cancer activities, study their biodiversity, and perform genomic analysis to establish relationships between metabolite biosynthesis potential, taxonomy, and the habitats and locations from which the isolates originate.”

-Written by Martin Sadongdong in Manila Bulletin.  See original article link here.

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