Sunday October 21, 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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Sudan Suffers From A Chikungunya Outbreak

Activists on social media said the number of people infected by the disease was much higher than the government's figure and that there had been deaths not documented by the government.

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chikungunya
A woman sits inside a mosquito tent in the town of Abyei, Sudan. VOA

More than 11,000 people in Sudan’s eastern state of Kassala have been infected over the past month by Chikungunya, a debilitating mosquito-borne viral disease, but no deaths have been reported, a Sudanese official said Tuesday.

Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species and can cause severe symptoms, which develop three to seven days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. They include high fever, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. In rare cases, it is fatal. There are no dedicated treatments or vaccines for Chikungunya.

“So far official statistics say that about 11,000 people were infected, and there haven’t been any documented cases of death because of the Chikungunya fever,” said Magzoub Abou Moussa, a spokesman for the Kassala state administration.

Chikungunya
Omar al Bashir, President of Sudan, wikimedia commons

Heavy rains

The outbreak began in recent weeks when heavy rains pummeled the area, which led to the flooding of a major river in Kassala.

Abou Moussa said his state had received health and technical aid from Sudan’s health ministry, but expressed concern over the spread of the virus and called for further help.

Eyewitnesses said they had seen planes on Monday sweeping over the state, spraying mosquito pesticides.

Sudanese opposition parties have accused the government of failing to deal with the situation in Kassala and called for international organizations’ help.

chikungunya
Women sit in line on the ground waiting to receive food distributed by the World Food Program (WFP) in Padeah, South Sudan, March 1, 2017. VOA

“We hold the government fully responsible for the spread of the epidemic,” said a statement from the National Umma Party, the largest opposition party. “We call on civil society organizations and the World Health Organization to help the people of Kassala.”

Also Read: Sudan Stops 13 Diplomatic and 4 Consular Missions Due to Financial Crisis

Activists on social media said the number of people infected by the disease was much higher than the government’s figure and that there had been deaths not documented by the government. (VOA)