Thursday February 21, 2019

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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The World Looks Forward To Eradication Of Hepatitis C By 2030

Offering direct-acting antivirals to all patients at the time of diagnosis could prevent 640,000 deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis by 2030

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the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
The team found that implementing comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures was estimated to reduce the number of new infections in 2030 by 58 per cent.

Improvements in screening, prevention and treatment particularly in high-burden countries, such as India, China and Pakistan, can avert 15.1 million new hepatitis C infections and 1.5 million cirrhosis and liver cancer deaths globally by 2030.

Globally, it is estimated that 71 million individuals are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus, that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation.

The virus was also responsible for over 475,000 deaths in 2015.

Viral hepatitis
World Health Organization poster for Hepatitis Campaign. VOA

To achieve the big reductions, there is need to implement comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures, extend harm reduction services (such as opioid substitution therapy and needle and syringe programmes) and replace older treatments with direct-acting antivirals in all countries.

Moreover, adding screening to these interventions can help diagnose 90 per cent of people with hepatitis C and offer treatment by 2030, according to the study published in The Lancet journal.

The estimates equal to an 80 per cent reduction in incidence and a 60 per cent reduction in deaths as compared to 2015.

Injection and medicines
Hepatitis are the commonly transmitted hepatotropic viruses transmitted due to poor hygiene, contaminated food and drinking water, poor sanitation, Pixabay

But, it narrowly misses the elimination targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) — to reduce mortality by 65 per cent — and would instead be attained by 2032, the researchers said.

“Even though it narrowly falls short of the WHO targets for 2030, the impact our estimates suggest would be a tremendous stride forwards,” said lead author Professor Alastair Heffernan, from UK’s Imperial College London.

The team found that implementing comprehensive blood safety and infection control measures was estimated to reduce the number of new infections in 2030 by 58 per cent.

Hepatitis C Blood Virus [HCV]. Photo Credit: michelsonmedical.org
Extending harm reduction services to 40 per cent of people who inject drugs could reduce the number of new infections by a further 7 percentage points.

Together, this would prevent 14.1 million new infections by 2030.

But, offering direct-acting antivirals to all patients at the time of diagnosis could prevent 640,000 deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis by 2030, the researchers noted.

Also Read: Major Breakthrough Made In The Treatment Of Ebola Virus

“Achieving such reductions requires a massive screening programme and demands a rapid increase in new treatment courses in the short term — namely, 51.8 million courses of direct-acting antivirals by 2030,” Heffernan said. (IANS)