Bacteria known as Streptomyces (see images above) are the source of the majority of important antibiotics used in medicine today. These drugs have revolutionised the treatment of infectious disease since their introduction into clinical practice in the 1940s.
Recently, the World Health Organisation has warned of a “post-antibiotic era”, where people could die from simple infections that have been treatable for decades. This is because some disease-causing bacteria have evolved to become resistant to most currently used antibiotics, for example MRSA.
BBSRC investment in Streptomyces research since the 1960s has had a huge impact on our understanding and development of antibiotics, and scientists at the BBSRC-funded John Innes Centre are among those now using this knowledge to help discover and develop the new antibiotics needed to counter the threat of antibiotic resistance.
If you want to find out more about this area of research make sure you get yourself along to the Great British Bioscience Festival exhibit showing at the Science in Norwich Day on the 1 of June.
Read more: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/research/impact/streptomyces-antibiotics.aspx
Top image and middle image copyright: David Hopwood and Andrew Davis
Bottom image of copyright:Tobias Kieser