Microalgae may be new natural source for antibiotics

The ability of microalgae to survive and adapt to a range of environments may be highly valuable to drug manufacturers


(Photo Courtesy: www.solazyme.com)

Bacteria are resourceful, and their growing resistance to antibiotics has drawn attention and caused concern worldwide.

There is an urgent need to find new sources of antibiotics. Among other options, scientists are turning to natural compounds from relatively unexplored microorganisms.

An article published in Phycologia looked at one such group of microorganisms: microalgae.

Researchers have investigated only a few species so far, but work with freshwater microalgae collected from remote, scientifically unexplored regions in northern Canada has produced several promising candidates for antibiotics.

Microalgae are found everywhere: in lakes, rivers, garden ponds, even swimming pools. Yet little research has focused on them as potential antibiotics.


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