In some of the deepest caves of the world scientists and researchers have been able to discover a prehistoric strain of bacteria known as Paenibacillus. The most amazing feature of this bacteria strain is that even the most powerful and strong antibiotics can create have come up short against it.
This bacterium which was away from human eyes for more than more than a million years is resistant to every antibiotic which is present out there. Scientists have been able to come to a conclusion that these superbugs have developed antibacterial resistance to most of the common antibiotics mainly due to its distance away from human and their medicines. Their behavior also may be caused due to the exposure to various kinds of antibiotics which occur naturally in the underground environment.
In the Lechuguilla Cave located in the state of New Mexico, scientists were able to discover these bacteria at a depth of 305 meter in an pristine environment which is considered very important. In a collaborated experiment conducted by the scientists of McMaster University located in Canada and University of Akron present in Ohio, cave samples were used by scientists to gather information about the measures used by Paenibacillus to block all the antibiotics. These experiments were mainly conducted to identify how to overcome such kinds of resistance by antibiotics in future.
Scientist Hazel Barton of the University of Akron stated that, “We identified some unique mechanisms of resistance that haven’t even emerged in bacteria that make us sick, which is exciting, because this means we have time to come up with potential mechanisms of resistance.”
All the antibiotics including the last resort drug known as daptomycin failed as the bacteria developed resistance to almost all of them. The method which Paenibacillus used to protect itself was to produce mutations in all its cells which are then transferred to its next generation. This method of resistance is very common among all the species of bacteria which are found in the soil. At the current stage the bacteria strain is non-pathogenic and it cannot affect any human being drastically. Scientists are trying to come up with ways which can enable them to defeat such a hardy bacteria strain because it might pose great risks for human civilization if it becomes pathogenic.
The researchers are of the opinion that since the caves of Lechuguilla Cave have provided shelter to these drug-resistant ancient bacteria, they may also contain some new types of antibiotics which can be used to fight against such strains successfully.
Gerry Wright of the McMaster University, Canada also stated that, “The diversity of antibiotic resistance and its prevalence in microbes across the globe should be humbling to everyone who uses these life-saving drugs. It reflects the fact that we must understand that antibiotic use and resistance go hand-in-hand.”
We definitely need to stay few steps ahead of such disease causing pathogens because antimicrobial resistance in future is going to pose most of the problems which occur during important surgeries and various treatments. Thus makes the cure for many of the diseases as vital as the diseases themselves. We can only hope that these scientists are able to come up with an effective solution before such an deadly situation arises.