Researchers analysing soil from Ireland long thought to have medicinal properties have discovered that it contains a previously unknown strain of bacteria which is effective against four of the top six superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA.
Antibiotic resistant superbugs could kill up to 1.3 million people in Europe by 2050, according to recent research.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) describes the problem as “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today”.
The new strain of bacteria was discovered by a team based in Swansea University Medical School, made up of researchers from Wales, Brazil, Iraq and Northern Ireland.
They have named the new strain Streptomyces sp. myrophorea.
The soil they analysed originated from an area of Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, which is known as the Boho Highlands. It is an area of alkaline grassland and the soil is reputed to have healing properties.