Antibiotic resistant bacteria found in isolated cave
Gerry Wright of McMaster University and Hazel Barton of University of Akron have discovered isolated, antibiotic resistant bacteria from Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico, one of the deepest and largest caves in the world. They found that bacteria from all samples they collected were resistant to different antibiotics that doctors currently use, some resistant to 14 different antibiotics. One they identified is a new type of resistance in a group of bacteria related to the anthrax bacterium. This resistance has not yet emerged in clinical settings and could provide important information about resistance that may one day show up in clinics. More research is required to learn where and how these organisms acquire resistance, but because there are naturally-resistant bacteria that are millennia old, this research “suggests that there are far more antibiotics in the environment that could be found and used to treat currently untreatable infections," as Wright says.