The biological machinery needed to produce a potentially life-saving antibiotic is found in turkeys, researchers have found.
"Our research group is certainly thankful for turkeys. The 'good bacteria' we are studying has been keeping turkey farms healthy for years and it has the potential to keep humans healthy as well," said microbiologist Joel Griffitts from Brigham Young University in Utah.
That is because the good bacteria, Strain 115 as scientists call it, produces the MP1 antibiotic - a known killer that could target staph infections, strep throat, severe gastrointestinal diseases and a large number of infectious bacteria.
This antibiotic, however, is not in widespread use because of its complex structure.
The researchers found that a DNA molecule inside Strain 115 known as 'plasmid' produces both the killer antibiotic and a self-protecting agent.
The study appeared in the Journal of Bacteriology.