Bat guano yields antibiotic treasure in Philippines

Turning lemons into lemonade is all well and good, but how about transforming bat poop into antibiotics? Via The Inquirer, we read today that the National Research Council of the Philippines has uncovered smelly gold in a cave in the Philippines — guano that contains the bacteria  Streptomyces spp.

a penguin walking on the rocks near a body of water (Photo on right: Hugo Sykes/Pexels )

"There are two new species of streptomyces spp. identified from bat guano in Cabalyorisa Cave that were not yet seen from any other sources, thus, they are considered novel species. Many antibiotics nowadays are produced by streptomyces, and have practical applications in human and veterinary medicine," the NRCP said.

"The emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases require an available pool of potential antimicrobials in anticipation of public health emergencies brought by these biological agents.

Bats can be disease carriers, but in this case their fermented fecal matter could save lives. If a disease adapts to resist current drugs, like the horrifying case of Super gonorrhea, brand new antibiotics are the best defense, whether it comes from a lab, or a bat toilet.

Previously: Women who rented an Airbnb `castle` were attacked and bitten by bats