Testing antibiotics using bear saliva!

The technology involves placing a bacterium from a bear’s mouth in an oil droplet to see if it inhibits harmful bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus. The beneficial strain of bacteria that killed Staphylococcus aureus produces a previously known antibiotic -- amicoumacin.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) resists several antibiotics and can cause pneumonia and sepsis, a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


A team of scientists from Rutgers University has discovered a technology that rapidly assesses potentially lifesaving antibiotics by using bacteria in saliva from an East Siberian brown bear. Microbes in wild animals or other exotic sources are an unexplored area in the search for antibiotics. The microbiota of wild animals may help protect them from the aggressive microbes that surround them.

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