Reviving an Old Antibiotic for New Superbug Threats

An antibiotic, streptothricin, isolated in the 1940s but forgotten due to its toxicity to human kidneys, is being reexamined for its potential in combating drug-resistant superbugs, especially gram-negative bacteria. Renamed nourseothricin, it is a natural product produced by gram-positive soil bacteria, offering a distinct mechanism to penetrate gram-negative bacteria’s defenses. Recent studies, led by pathologist James Kirby at Harvard University, have found that one of its components, streptothricin F, effectively kills drug-resistant gram-negative bacteria with minimal toxicity in mouse models. Researchers aim to further enhance these forgotten antibiotics, potentially introducing a new class of medicines for stubborn bacterial infections.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link