SCSU student finds potential antibiotic in campus pond

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A biology student at Southern Connecticut State University may have found a new antibiotic that can help fight “bad bacteria,” according to the university.

Sarah Lefrancois, a senior at SCSU found the bacteria in a pond on campus and started testing the specimen.

“I isolated the bacteria, extracted the antibiotic chemicals it produces, and performed some pre-clinical lab testing on E. coli bacteria, as well as ‘close cousins’ of other bad bacteria,” Lefrancois said.

Though the process of officially finding a new antibiotic is long and complicated, Lefrancois’s findings are promising as she found the chemicals had a “significant antibiotic effect on those bad bacteria.”

“It definitely has potential,” Elizabeth Roberts, an associate professor of biology at SCSU said.

Lefrancois is genetically sequencing the bacteria to see if it has been discovered before. If it hasn’t been found before, Roberts said the chemicals can be tested on “real pathogens” like the ones that cause MRSA and VRSA.

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