Forget antibiotics, try dung mushrooms
EuRoPEAN biologists have discovered a bacteria-killing compound in common mushrooms that grow in horse dung.
unusually for an antibiotic, copsin is a protein, but laboratory trials showed it to have the same effect on bacteria as traditional antibiotics.
Chemists around the world are involved in a race against time to find a solution to the growing problem of bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
It’s a major threat to the health of the global population, which had long assumed that antibiotics would always be available to cure bacterial illness.The scientific community hopes to be able to develop a new range of antibiotics to re- place those that are increasingly losing their ability to work against infections like TB.
A research team led by Markus Aebi, professor of mycology at ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), believes it may have found the answer.
The team discovered copsin in the common inky cap mushroom Coprinopsis cinerea that grows on manure while researching how the fungus and various bacteria affected each other’s growth.
Lead researcher Andreas Essig said: “Horse dung is a very rich substrate that harbours a diversity of micro-organisms, including fungi and bacteria.
“These micro-organisms are in constant competition for nutrients and space and it’s therefore very likely to find potent antibiotics in such an environment, which are used by the different organisms to inhibit the growth of the competitors.” — Reuters
HoRse dung harbours a diversity of micro-organisms, including fungi and bacteria.