The World Health Organization recently stated that new sources of antibiotics are urgently required to stem the global spread of antibiotic resistance, especially in multiresistant Gram-negative bacteria. Although it was thought that many of the original sources of antibiotics were exhausted, innovative research has revealed promising new sources of antibiotic discovery in traditional medicine associated with Streptomyces. In this work we investigated the potential of a specific limestone grassland soil, associated with Irish folk medicine, as a new source of antimicrobial discovery. Using selective enrichment and isolation techniques on a limestone grassland soil sample obtained from Boho, West Fermanagh, we isolated Streptomyces sp. CJ13. This bacterium inhibited the growth of a broad range of pathogens in vitro including Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA 43300) and Gram negative multiresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA01), as well as the anaerobic bacteria Propionibacterium acnes and the yeast Starmerella bombicola. Genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis revealed Streptomyces sp. CJ13 to be closely related to an unclassified Streptomyces sp. MJM1172, Streptomyces sp. Mg1 and two species known as Streptomyces sp. ICC1 and ICC4 from a karst region in British Columbia. The closest type species to Streptomyces sp. CJ13 was Streptomyces lavendulae subspecies lavendulae. Analysis of Streptomyces sp. CJ13 whole genome sequence using the secondary metabolite prediction tool antiSMASH revealed similarities to several antibiotic gene synthesis clusters including salinichelin, mediomycin A, weishanmycin, combamide, heat stable antifungal factor and SAL-2242. These results demonstrate the potential of this alkaline grassland soil as a new resource for the discovery of a broad range of antimicrobial compounds including those effective against multiresistant Gram negative bacteria.
- Traditional medicine