Germ that led to TB treatment named New Jersey's state microbe

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TRENTON -

(AP) - A microorganism that played a role in treating tuberculosis is now officially recognized as New Jersey's state microbe.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill on Friday making Streptomyces griseus New Jersey's official state microbe.

The microbe was first discovered in New Jersey's soil in 1916, but it was in 1943 that a team of researchers from Rutgers University used the microbe to create streptomycin.

RELATED: A state microbe? – Legislation up for vote today could make that a reality 

Researchers say it was the first antibiotic to kill tuberculosis.

Within a decade of the antibiotic's creation, tuberculosis death rates in the U.S. fell, to about 9 deaths per 100,000 people in 1955 from 194 deaths per 100,000 people in 1900.

Rutgers researcher Selman Waksman was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering the microbe and creating the antibiotic.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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