Superbug-proof gel developed by U.K. researchers
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Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014 8:37AM EDT
A team of researchers from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's University in Belfast has made a breakthrough in the war on hospital superbugs. They have used natural proteins to develop an innovative antibacterial gel that kills the dreaded Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococci and E.coli.
The potion is capable of breaking down bacteria coating called biofilm which has roughly the same consistency of pudding and which is the culprit of antibacterial resistance.
According to researchers, it leaves healthy cells unaffected.
"Our gels are unique as they target and kill the most resistant forms of hospital superbugs," said lead researcher Dr. Garry Laverty. "It involves the use of gels composed of the building blocks of natural proteins, called peptides."
Dr. Laverty remarks that peptides are among the components of human tissue but notes that they are modified in the laboratory in a way that enables their jelly-like texture.
Antibacterial resistance is a growing concern, and current antibacterial compounds such as triclosan have come under fire for contributing through overuse.
A study conducted in 2013 found that deposits of triclosan in streams and rivers generated resistant bacteria.
The Queen's study was published in Bio Macromolecules, a journal of the American Chemical Society.