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Clovibactin: Superbugs will struggle to evolve resistance to unusual new antibiotic

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An illustration of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria

KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A potential new antibiotic is highly effective against “superbugs” such as MRSA that are resistant to many existing antibiotics, and kills bacteria in an unusual way that means it will be extremely difficult for resistance to evolve.

The antibiotic, clovibactin, was discovered in a rare bacterium isolated from sandy soil collected in North Carolina. Markus Weingarth at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and his colleagues have been studying how it works, with promising results. “The activity is even better than for the gold …

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