Scientists are slathering reefs with antibiotics to stop coral disease

Researchers have resorted to applying antibiotics on corals to save Caribbean reefs from deadly disease, but there are concerns this could create antibiotic resistance in other marine animals

Life 23 September 2022

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) has begun to eat away at this star coral. The destructive disease is destroying reefs throughout the Caribbean; Shutterstock ID 1972413326; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Stony coral tissue loss disease has begun to eat away at this coral

Shutterstock / Drew McArthur

To combat the spread of a mysterious disease affecting coral in the Caribbean, researchers are smearing antibiotic goo on thousands of corals by hand. Others are now dosing corals with probiotics with the hope of bolstering their resilience to the disease.

Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) was first spotted off the coast of Miami, Florida, in 2014 and scientists have been struggling to understand the mysterious pathogen ever since. The disease infects only hard corals – the …

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