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New Antibiotic Found in Human Noses

The search for new drugs (1)_________________ has led to a discovery in an unlikely place — in people’s noses.
What researchers found in noses is a compound called lugdunin. It fights a (2)__________________ responsible for the “superbug” infection known as MRSA.
MRSA is short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is (3)____________________ because it resists many antibiotic drugs. The result is many people die from the infection.
The Centers for Disease (4)__________________ says there are 80-thousand cases every year in the United States, and 10-thousand people die from MRSA.
The journal Nature Microbiology (5)___________________ about the discovery of lugdunin last month. The research team reported that the compound, produced by another bacterium, has been (6)______________ the “superbug.”
The Staphylococcus aureus bacterium is (7)_________________ staph. Many people carry the staph (8)_________________, in addition to billions of other microorganisms. But it is a different story if this bacterium gets into a person’s blood. S. aureus (9)____________________ throughout the body with a possibly deadly infection.
One place to find staph is in the nose. But the researchers found that 70 percent of the population (10)________________ S. aureus.
Kim Lewis directs the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. He (11)__________________ about the discovery in Nature Microbiology.
“So if you have lugdunin in your nose, chances are you are not going to be carrying staph aureus. So that was the (12)_______________ of that study.”
Just like animals in the wild, bacteria in our bodies (13)____________. The bacterium Staphylococcus lugdunensis fights off S. aureus.
But it gets even more interesting. Scientists found that about (14)___________________ has S. aureus in their nose. But almost no one with the S. lugdunensis bacterium had any sign of the possibly harmful staph infection. A few people had (15)__________________ in their noses.
That (16)_____________________ there are other bacteria that can defeat staph. And that could mean there are other antibiotic possibilities that researchers (17)________________________.
Lewis says there is a simple reason why researchers are looking high and low for new (18)____________________.
“We want to stay alive. That’s the short answer to that question. Pathogens have been (19)___________________ and that has been spreading. And now pathogens are gaining the upper hand. So we need to get back in the game and (20)_________________ other ways to discover new antibiotics.”
He notes that antibiotics, many of which are still in use today, (21)_____________ during the early to middle of the 20th century. It is a period known as the Golden Age of Antibiotics. These drugs were made from (22)____________________, a good place to find microorganisms. So that is where Lewis’ Antimicrobial Discovery Center comes in.
“Only one percent of (23)______________ are cultivable. So the rest, the 99 (percent) are called the microbial Dark Matter. So, we are going after the microbial Dark Matter.”
Lewis helped (24)__________________ to look for microorganisms that can be made into antibiotics.
Last year, Lewis and other researchers discovered the drug teixobactin. It is an antibiotic that kills a number of bacterium, including Staphylococcus aureus, by (25)_____________________.
More traditional antibiotics attack bacterial proteins. But over time, the microbes can (26)________________ -- they change and find ways to resist the drugs. Their ability to change makes traditional antibiotics less effective.
But when researchers attacked the cell walls, they found (27)____________ to antibiotics in the animals they studied.
This new research means the human body itself might be the (28) __________________________ to keep us healthy.
I’m Anne Ball.
Jessica Berman reported on this story for Anne Ball adapted her report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
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Words in This Story

antibiotic – n. a drug used to kill harmful bacteria or infection
bacterium – n. any one of a group of small living things that often cause disease
pathogen – n. something, like bacteria, that causes disease
microorganism – n. an extremely small living thing that can only be seen with a microscope
cultivable – adj. relating to something that can be grown
mutation – n. a basic and significant change
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