Sourcing New Antibiotics
The global increase in multi-resistant bacteria has created an urgent need to source replacement antibiotics. We believe this problem can be alleviated by finding new antibiotic producing organisms. We have recently discovered seven new strains of Streptomyces; a bacteria responsible for 70% of the world’s antibiotic production. We did this by combining two antibiotic discovery strategies; searching extreme environments and examining soil based traditional medicine.
We have already written a research paper on one of these strains (Streptomyces sp. myrophorea) which inhibits multi-resistant bacteria https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02458/full. With your help we would like to sequence the genes of the other six Streptomyces that we identified.
By genetic sequencing we can reveal hidden antibiotic synthesis genes which might not otherwise be apparent by conventional means. As many as 30 synthesis clusters have been revealed in some Streptomyces that were previously only thought to produce one or two antibiotics.
Our initial research has received widespread media coverage
What is the context of the research?
Although antimicrobial resistance has even become one of the most discussed medical topics in the media, the development of replacement antibiotics has dwindled into single figures over the last few decades.
With your help, this situation could change. Our research group has already started to identify antibiotic producing organisms from a variety of sources. However, we need to identify and characterise these antibiotics. These discoveries will then add to a new collection of reserve antibiotics which may alleviate the crisis in the supply of antibiotics.
What is the Significance of this Project?
This study will help to uncover the full antibiotic potential of 6 other strains of Streptomyces that we have already identified. It will add to previous research with which we described a strain of Streptomyces effective against multi-resistant bacteria. These discoveries will add to a new body of reserve antibiotic solutions. The results of this study will be shared widely with the public and the scientific community through publication in a peer reviewed journal.
What are the Goals of this Project?
The immediate goal of this project is to establish the antimicrobial potential of 6 new strains of Streptomyces.
Bacterial cultivation and DNA extraction (6 strains) £100
Tagging and sequencing DNA for each Streptomyces £1200
Gene assembly, bioinformatics and antibiotic gene identification £710
If we reach our goal successfully, we will extend our target to the chemical identification of the antibiotics from the Streptomyces. Further stretch targets include sequencing further antibiotic producing Streptomyces from different environments.
1) Cultivation of antibiotic producing Streptomyces and purification of their DNA
2) DNA sequencing
3) Analysis of antibiotic potential
4) Manuscript writing
Mar 20, 2019 Project Launch
May 01, 2019 Cultivation of antibiotic producing bacteria and
purification of DNA
Jul 01, 2019 DNA sequencing
Sep 01, 2019 Analysis of antibiotic potential
Oct 01, 2019 Manuscript preparation
The research will primarily be performed by Dr Gerry Quinn, in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Banat at Ulster University, computational specialists from Aberystwyth University, the Streptomyces Group at Swansea University and consultations with the Streptomyces group in Croatia. The main sequencing will be carried out by an external educational/commercial facility.
Dr. Gerry Quinn
I am currently placed at Ulster University where I trained in Microbiology and protein identification. Previously I worked on Staphylococcal infections at the University of Central Florida, eradication of bacterial biofilms (infections) in Ireland, soil protein extraction and production of antibiotics at Swansea University, Wales and tetracycline (antibiotic) production in Zagreb, Croatia. There are several publications associated with this research details which can be found at google scholar https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=xU0uxTcAAAAJ&hl=en