Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem. In 2014, The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that drug-resistant strains of many diseases were emerging faster than new antibiotics could be made to fight them. But recently, researchers have developed a new antibiotic from an unlikely source, and it works in such a way that it’s unlikely that bacteria will become resistant to it.

By extracting drugs from bacteria that live in dirt- yes, dirt- researchers have produced a new antibiotic called teixobactin. Previously, it was very difficult to grow environmental microbes in the laboratory, but a new technique has changed that. Read more about it here.

In laboratory studies, teixobactin killed anthrax, tuberculosis, strep and staph in test tubes, and it worked against strep and drug-resistant staph infections in mice. While early results look promising, the timeline from bench to bedside can be considerable. At this point, the earliest the drug would be available to humans would be five or six years, and that’s if all studies go well and everything falls into place. This is definitely an advancement to keep an eye on, though, and hopefully something to look forward to!

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