Does taking antibiotics actually make us more susceptible to viruses? That’s one theory on how so called “superbug” strains emerge. Faced with a hostile environment, Darwinian survival of the fittest kicks in and those strains which adjust well to the post-drug microbiological landscape develop into bacteria which is immune to antibiotics previously introduced to the body. Rinse and repeat a bunch of times and we have things like MRSA, which often looks like this (NSFW, or sensitive stomachs) and is so far immune to known antibiotics. Nasty, right?
Well, researchers have found a marine organism, completely different in structure and chemical make up from existing antibiotics, on a beach in California. The bacteria is called anthracimycin and results are astounding. Reportedly, anthracimycin obliterates MRSA in 90% of mice tested, and in a lab setting is between 25-40% more effective at killing anthrax than current antibiotics.
Although this is still years away from a useable drug for humans, it’s still an incredible leap forward for treating MRSA, which is a notorious killer in hospitals. In any case, it has to be one of the more useful things found on a beach in recent times. Better than the used condoms and animal carcasses usually found anyway.