In a major breakthrough, a team of Bangladeshi scientists has discovered new antibiotics that can be developed from rare species of bacteria found on jute seeds.
According to Dhaka Tribune (DT), at least five antibiotics can be produced from this bacteria and that the discovery has been recognized by online journal Scientific Report.
The team comprises several professors of Dhaka University (DU), some students, and a member of the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR). They are Dr M Aftab Uddin, Shammi Akter, Mahbuba Ferdous, Badrul Haidar, Al Amin, AHM Shofiul Islam Molla, Dr Haseena Khan and Dr Mohammad Riazul Islam, the DT report said.
“These antibiotics have the potential to fight various drug resistant bacterial diseases,” the newspaper quoted Islam, professor at the DU biochemistry and molecular biology department, as saying.
The study ran for three years at the molecular biology laboratory of DU, the report said.
The report added that experts have highlighted that the widespread use of existing antibiotics is leading many infections to develop resistances. In this context discovery of new antibiotics is crucial to ensure that they can continue to be treated.
“The aim was not fixed [when we began genome sequencing]. Many microorganisms live on plants such as jute and we were not sure what we would find,” Khan said.
“We found that the bacteria produced five different antibiotics, which can be used to fight various diseases. We have, so far, researched only two of the types of antibiotics [homicorcin and homicorcin 1] and will study the other three types in the future,” DT also quoted Khan as saying.