A study at the Swansea University Medical School analyzing ancient soil from Ireland discovered that it contains a new strain of bacteria that is effective against four of the top six antibiotic resistant superbugs, including MRSA, according to an article on the EurekAlert!
The soil in question 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. Traditionally a small amount of soil was wrapped up in cotton cloth and used to heal many ailments including toothache, throat and neck infections.
The newly-identified strain of bacteria was found to Inhibit the growth of four of the top six multi-resistant pathogens — identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) — responsible for healthcare-associated infections: Vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Klebsiella pneumonia, and Carbenepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii.
Researchers now plan to focus on the purification and identification of the antibiotics found in the soil. They have reported to have also discovered additional antibacterial organisms from the same soil cure which may cover a broader spectrum of multi-resistant pathogens.