Tuesday December 11, 2018

Study Shows That Antibacterial in Toothpaste May Combat Severe Lung Diseases

Researchers have found that a common antibacterial substance found in toothpaste may combat life-threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF) when combined with a drug.

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Researchers have found that a common antibacterial substance found in toothpaste may combat life-threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF) when combined with a drug.

The study, published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, found that when triclosan — a substance that reduces or prevents bacteria from growing — is combined with an antibiotic called tobramycin, it kills the cells that protect the CF bacteria, known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, by up to 99.9 per cent.

CF is a common genetic disease with one in every 2,500 to 3,500 people diagnosed with it at an early age. It results in a thick mucus in the lungs, which becomes a magnet for bacteria.

These bacteria are notoriously difficult to kill because they are protected by a slimy barrier known as a biofilm, which allows the disease to thrive even when treated with antibiotics, the researcher said.

“The problem that we’re really tackling is finding ways to kill these biofilms,” said lead author Chris Waters, Professor at the Michigan State University.

Indian scientists say endosulfan damages liver, lungs, male fertility in mice
Bacteria, Wikimedia

According to the researcher, there are many common biofilm-related infections that people get such as ear infections and swollen, painful gums caused by gingivitis.

But more serious, potentially fatal diseases join the ranks of CF including endocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, as well as infections from artificial hip and pacemaker implants, the researcher added.

For the study, the researchers grew 6,000 biofilms in petri dishes, added in tobramycin along with many different compounds, to see what worked better at killing the bacteria.

Also Read: Indian scientists say endosulfan damages liver, lungs, male fertility in mice

Twenty-five potential compounds were effective, but one stood out, the researcher said.

“It’s well known that triclosan, when used by itself, isn’t effective at killing Pseudomonas aeruginosa. But when I saw it listed as a possible compound to use with tobramycin, I was intrigued. We found triclosan was the one that worked every time,” said Alessandra Hunt from the Michigan State University. (IANS)

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A Comprehensive Study Of Parasitic Worms Release Numerous Anwers

The analysis found almost a million new genes that had not been seen before, belonging to thousands of new gene families, and identified many new potential drug targets and drugs.

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parasitic Worm
A giant 25m worm representing the parasitic worm of schistosomiasis, that causes significant suffering and death to thousands of people around the world, is pictured on the Lake Leman on the occasion of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit, in Geneva, Switzerland. VOA

The largest study to date of the genetic makeup of parasitic worms has found hundreds of new clues about how they invade the human body, evade its immune system and cause disease.

The results point to potential de-worming treatments to help fight some of the most neglected tropical diseases — including river blindness, schistosomiasis and hookworm disease — which affect around a billion people worldwide.

“Parasitic worms are some of our oldest foes and have evolved over millions of years to be expert manipulators of the human immune system,” said Makedonka Mitreva of Washington University’s McDonnell Genome Institute, who co-led the work with colleagues from Britain’s Wellcome Sanger Institute and Edinburgh University.

parasitic Worm
World’s longest tapeworm. wikimedia

She said the results of this study would lead to both a deeper knowledge of the biology of parasites and a better understanding of how human immune systems can be harnessed or controlled.

Parasitic worm infections can last many years and can cause severe pain, physical disabilities, retarded development in children and social stigma linked to deformity.

Current medicines to combat them — including drugs made by Sanofi, GSK and Johnson & Johnson — can be moderately effective and are often donated by drugmakers or sold at reduced prices to those who need them. But the spectrum of drugs to treat worm infections is still limited.

To try to improve the potential drug pipeline and to understand how worms invade and take up residence inside humans and other animals, the research team compared the genomes of 81 species of roundworms and flatworms, including 45 that had never previously had their genomes sequenced.

parasitic Worm
How gut microbiota can aid in early diagnosis of liver cancer.

The analysis found almost a million new genes that had not been seen before, belonging to thousands of new gene families, and identified many new potential drug targets and drugs.

Also Read: Genes Tied To Obesity May Lower Risk Of Diabetes

“We focused our search by looking at existing drugs for human illnesses,” said the Sanger Institute’s Avril Coghlan, who worked on the team. She said this offered a possible fast-track route “to pinpointing existing drugs that could be repurposed for deworming.”

The study’s findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics. (VOA)