Ancient Celtic Medicine Can Help Tackle 21st Century Superbugs

At the turn of the millennium, the miracle of 20th century medicine, antibiotics, ceased to be a panacea. But prejudices in world science have become much less, and therefore scientists are ready to look for means to combat new strains of microbes in the most exotic places. Recently, their attention has been drawn to the traditional medicine of the Celts, which is based on beliefs in the healing power of the Irish land from the Boho Highlands.

The Boho area is located in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, where a scientific troop from Swansea University landed. According to legends, a thousand years ago, the local soil was used to treat toothache and fight infectious diseases. After reflecting on the interpretation of ancient myths, scientists came to the conclusion that it is necessary to look for traces of Streptomyces. This is a genus of bacteria that are used as producers of many antibiotics.

The search was crowned with success - a new bacterial strain was discovered, named Streptomyces sp. myrophorea. And, like the ancient heroes, he famously dealt with key pathogens that are no longer treated with antibiotics. In particular, Acinetobacter baumannii, Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia are all from the WHO list of priority hazards. And what is absolutely remarkable is the unexpected ability of bacteria to kill in addition to gram-positive and gram-negative strains.

Streptomyces sp. Myrophorea is not the only beneficial bacteria found in the land of Boho, scientists are already calling this legendary place a storehouse of new generation antibiotics. True, most likely, it will be necessary to reconsider not only the methods of destroying multi-resistant bacteria, but also the creation of a drug against them. The fact is that all the new discovered means are contained in such sources, which seem to have been taken from the cookbook of a fairy-tale witch. Here is the milk of the platypus, and flowers of tobacco, and the venom of a rattlesnake, and the feces of toads, and the hair of babies and other "hellish components." This medicine of the future is remarkably reminiscent of the alchemy of the Middle Ages.