Technical University of Denmark finds antimicrobial agents in marine bacteria
Marine bacteria that produce antimicrobial agents have been found as part of a PhD project at the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark.
The project suggests that it may be possible to find alternatives to conventional antibiotics in the marine environment.
WHO, the World Health Organization, describes antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats to human health. It is therefore important to find new agents that can be used as a future alternative to conventional antibiotics.
In the course of his PhD project, Nikolaj Grønnegaard Vynne found bacteria in the sea that produce antimicrobial agents, and the project suggests that more and possibly new forms of antibiotics could potentially be found in the marine environment. Among other things, the findings show that bacteria on biological surfaces such as seaweed and crustaceans have the most stable production of antimicrobial agents.
The findings also show that there is a clear correlation between the bacteria's habitat and production of antimicrobial agents. Some of the bacteria in the PhD study stopped producing antimicrobial agents in the laboratory, which indicates that production is largely dependent on the bacteria's natural habitat.
In a postdoc project, Nikolaj Grønnegaard Vynne is therefore going to continue to work on creating systems in the laboratory that emulate the bacteria's natural environment. The objective is to find methods that will give access to as much of the bacteria's genetic potential as possible and identify the conditions needed for the bacteria's production of antimicrobial agents to be as stable as possible.