[QODLink]
Europe
Cockroach may combat superbugs
UK scientist says molecules found in the brain and nervous system of cockroaches could provide antibodies to superbugs.
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2010 19:37 GMT
Cockraoches may finally make their way into the affection of the human race [EPA]

A scientist in the UK has said that the cockroach could hold the answer to beating new diseases resistant to currently available antibiotics.

A researcher at Nottingham University said in a press release on Monday that he has found molecules in the brain and nervous system of cockroaches that kill superbugs.

Superbugs have gained notoriety in recent months over claims that they have developed to make mainstream drugs ineffective against them.

Simon Lee, a postgraduate researcher at the university in central England, tested the molecules found in the internationally disliked insect.

Human cells unaffected

Lee discovered that the compounds are toxic for more than 90 per cent of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - a superbug continually found in hospitals in the western world - and Escherichia coli - which causes food poisoning - germs.

Tests have now begun to see if the molecules will provide an antibody for emerging superbugs such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Burkholderia.

Lee said that considering the habitats of cockroaches, it is unsurprising that they carried their own antimicrobial drugs.

"Insects often live in unsanitary and unhygienic environments where they encounter many different types of bacteria. It is therefore logical that they have developed ways of developing themselves against micro-organism," he said.

Lee has shown that the extracts do not negatively affect human cells.

He will be presenting the work at a Society for General Microbiology meeting this week.

Work to identify any active ingredients that could result in antibiotics is expected to take many years.

"We're a long way from these being active drugs," Lee said.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.