New antibiotics could be made from plastic waste in the ocean, study finds
Due to the antibiotic crisis, which has led to the emergence of super-bugs resistant to antibiotics, scientists are looking for new ways to synthesize drugs.
A new study , conducted by students with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has shown that new microbes can be extracted from plastic debris in the ocean to create antibiotics in the future.
Scientists estimate that between 5 and 13 million tons of plastic waste enters the oceans every year. Such wastes are rich in biomass and therefore can serve as a platform for the production of antibiotics.
The researchers in their experiment placed high- and low-density polyethylene plastic (commonly used in grocery bags) in Pacific water taken off the California coast for 90 days.
During this period, it was possible to isolate 5 bacteria that can produce an antibiotic from marine plastic. It also became clear that these antibiotics could be effective against bacteria that are resistant to already known types of antibiotics.
"Given the current antibiotic crisis and the rise of superbugs, it's important to look for alternative sources of new antibiotics," said study lead author Andrea Price of the National University.
Study not yet completed