Sourcing new antibiotics


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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.

Image: Inhibition of MRSA by Streptomyces sp. Myrophorea, one of the newly discovered bacteria.

Our initial research has received widespread media coverage

NEWSWEEK https://www.newsweek.com/antibiotic-resistance-superbug-ancient-soil-bacteria-ireland-streptomyces-1283324

What is the context of the research?

Image: Antibiotic resistance developing to Erythromycin (E), Imipenem (IMI) and Vancomycin (VA). Imipenem and Vancomycin are drugs of last resort.

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.

Image: Isolation of antibiotic producing soil bacteria which can be seen as clear zones around a single colony

 

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.

Our Budget

Details:

Bacterial cultivation and DNA extraction (6 strains) £100
Tagging and sequencing DNA for each Streptomyces £1200
Gene assembly, bioinformatics and antibiotic gene identification £710

Total £2010

Stretch Targets

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.

 

Our Timeline

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

Our Team

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.

Image: Streptomyces group in Croatia.

Dr. Gerry Quinn

Gerry Quinn is the main researcher

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

Additional links
——
[1] https://www.newsweek.com/antibiotic-resistance-superbug-ancient-soil-bacteria-ireland-streptomyces-1283324
[2] https://phys.org/news/2018-12-bacteria-ancient-irish-soil-halts.html
[3] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/ancient-cures-could-key-tackling-superbugs/
[4] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6535579/Soil-rural-Ireland-contains-bacteria-kill-four-worlds-superbugs.html
[5] https://www.itv.com/news/wales/2019-01-04/swansea-university-researchers-discover-soil-with-superbug-fighting-qualities/

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    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you! Additionally, we will list you as a funding contributor for our research papers

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    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you! Additionally, we will list you as a funding contributor for our research papers

  • Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you! Additionally, we will list you as a funding contributor for our research papers

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CONTINUE
  • 2 Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you!

  • Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you!

  • Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you!

  • 2 Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you! Additionally, we will list you as a funding contributor for our research papers

  • Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you! Additionally, we will list you as a funding contributor for our research papers

  • Backers

    Thank you for your support. We will keep you updated on our experiments and share the results with you! Additionally, we will list you as a funding contributor for our research papers