Hundreds of types of bacteria in soil that can eat antibiotics have been discovered by Harvard University researchers.
The discovery, published Friday in the journal Science, was made by scientists who collected soil samples from 11 locations in Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, the Associated Press reported.
Many of the bacteria from the soil samples could survive when put in laboratory dishes where antibiotics (18 different types) were the only source of nutrition. Some of the bacteria could survive levels of antibiotics 50 to 100 times greater than what would be given to a patient.
Researchers are now trying to learn more about how these soil bacteria can survive exposure to antibiotics, the AP reported.
Learning more about these bacteria is important because more and more disease-causing bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics, and there's concern that some infections may soon become untreatable.