The serious and sometimes fatal superbug MRSA may have finally met its match from one of the most unlikeliest of places.
Hiding away in Antarctica is a sponge, Dendrilla membranosa, which yields a new and entirely natural chemical which has the ability to eliminate it.
Scientists at the University of South Florida found that the sponge's 'magic bullet' chemical was capable of killing 98 per cent of MRSA cells.
USF chemistry professor Dr. Bill Baker worked on discovering the chemical explained saying: "When we screened darwinolide against MRSA we found that only 1.6 percent of the bacterium survived and grew. This suggests that darwinolide may be a good foundation for an urgently needed antibiotic effective against biofilms,"
This new chemical, known as 'darwinolide' has the potential to completely revolutionise the way we treat the superbug.
MRSA is uniquely dangerous because it can cause a whole range of infections from skin infections to pneumonia and endocarditis.
As it has become increasingly clear that the pharmaceutical industry is struggling to keep up with the development of new antibiotics, scientists have started looking at the 'ends of the Earth' for new naturally produced antibiotics that could fight these infections.
Despite advances in the way we use antibiotics, bacterial diseases remain the second-leading cause of death globally.
Health experts have already warned that if we don't curb our intake of antibiotics then this figure will grow and in the future bacterial infections will be killing more people than cancer globally.
By searching in nature there is already hope that scientists can find hundreds of new naturally produced antibiotics which can combat the evolving bacteria.
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