Marine microbe found to produce compound that kills MRSA and Anthrax

07/21/2013 - 00:00

Scientists have discovered a marine microbe-derived antibiotic that has the ability to kill the deadly Anthrax bacterium Bacillus anthracis and other pathogens such as the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Prof William Fenical with colleagues from the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography first collected Streptomyces sp. -a marine microorganism that produces the compound – in 2012 from sediments close to shore off Santa Barbara, California.

Using an analytical technique known as spectroscopy, they then deciphered the unusual structure of a molecule isolated from Streptomyces sp. Initial testing of the compound, which they named Anthracimycin, revealed its potency as a killer of anthrax and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).