Scientists find superbug in 1915 soldier killed by dysentery

November 7, 2014 7:06 AM

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Scientists find superbug in 1915 soldier killed by dysentery

Dysentary was rife and a life-threatening disease in the World War One trenches like here in 1915 at Suippes on the Champagne front, eastern France. — Reuters picLONDON, Nov 7 — Scientists who unlocked the genetic code of bacteria grown from a soldier who died of dysentery in World War I say it revealed a superbug already resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics decades before they were in common use.

The discovery sheds light on the history of antibiotic resistance — now a global health threat — and offers fresh clues on how to tackle dysentery, a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of children every year in developing countries.

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