Researchers have discovered viruses that infect bacteria living in the kitchen sponges which may prove useful in fighting 'superbugs' that cannot be killed by antibiotics alone.
A kitchen sponge is exposed to all kinds of different microbes, which form a solid microbiome or bacteria, said researchers from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in the US
Bacteriophages are the most abundant biological particles on the planet and are typically found wherever bacteria reside. With this understanding, kitchen sponges seemed likely to find them.
The researchers isolated bacteria from their own used kitchen sponges and then used the bacteria as bait to find the phages that could attack it. discovered phages that infect bacteria living in their kitchen sponges.
"Our study illustrates the value of any microbial environment that could harbor potentially useful phages," said Brianna Weiss, a Life Sciences student at NYIT.
The researchers decided to "swap" these two phages and see if they could cross-infect the other person's isolated bacteria. Therefore, the phages did kill the other bacteria.
"This is what the bacteria strains were coincidentally the same, even though they came from two different sponges," said Weiss.
The researchers compared the DNA or both isolated strains of bacteria and found that they were both members of the Enterobacteriaceae family.
These bacteria belong to a rod-shaped group of microbes commonly found in faeces, where some cause infections in hospital settings.
Although the strains are closely related, when performing biochemical testing they found chemical variations between them
"These differences are important in understanding the range of bacteria that can infect, which is also key to determining specific antibiotic-resistant infections. , "Weiss.
" Continuing our work, we hope to isolate and characterize more phages that can infect bacteria from a variety of microbial ecosystems, where s These phages might be used to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, "Weiss said.