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Can bees help us find new antibiotics?

Goggin, Kirstie and Baillie, Les 2021. Can bees help us find new antibiotics? Frontiers for Young Minds 9 , 611604. 10.3389/frym.2021.611604

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Abstract

Antibiotics are very important for treating bacterial infections in humans, pets, and livestock. However, improper use of antibiotics has resulted in antibiotic resistance, making it difficult to treat some infections. There is an urgent need to discover new antibiotics, but how do we find them? The answer potentially lies with bees and the honey they produce. Bees who feed on unique plants produce honey with high levels of antibiotic activity, due to the presence of antibacterial compounds in the nectar that the bees collect to make honey. In addition to nectar, the bees also collect pollen, which contains a sample of each visited plant’s unique DNA. By studying this DNA, we have identified plants that are sources of the antibacterial compounds found in honey. We are now working to develop new antibiotics from this honey, and we have installed beehives on university buildings to create our own super honey.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
Publisher: Frontiers
ISSN: 2296-6846
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 13 July 2021
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2021 11:41
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142682

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