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A novel antibiotic from the human microbiota

The majority of systemic bacterial infections are caused by endogenous pathogens from human microbiota, and the opportunistic pathogen Staphylococcus aureus, commonly found in the external opening of the nostrils, is one of the most clinically important because of the prevalence of multi-drug resistant strains. The mechanisms that permit or interfere with pathogen colonization have remained unclear. This study shows that S. lugdunensis, a commensal bacterium that shares the nasal niche with S. aureus and is associated with a reduced S. aureus carriage rate in humans, produces a novel cyclic peptide antibiotic (lugdunin) that inhibits colonization by S. aureus in animal models. Lugdunin is bactericidal against major pathogens and not prone to causing development of resistance in S. aureus, suggesting that lugdunin or lugdunin-producing commensals could be valuable for preventing staphylococcal infections.

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