Using bacteria to battle TB
As drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) continues to persist around the world, researchers have been trying to find a way to curb its spread. Now, a research team from a number of institutions across the UK may have found an answer in bacteria found in a cystic fibrosis patient. Bacteria from the Burkholderia genus have adapted to their wide-ranging environments by producing antibiotics to fight off their competition. With this knowledge in hand, the research group discovered that a strain of Burkholderia gladioli bacteria, found in the mucus of a child with cystic fibrosis, produces an antibiotic called gladiolin. In initial tests, gladiolin was able to inhibit the growth of four different drug-resistant strains of TB, and so could potentially be a viable candidate for a new drug.