[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
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
Informal health centres are treating thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, easing the pressure on local hospitals.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Wastewater ponds dot the landscape in US states that produce gas; environmentalists say they’re a growing threat.
China President Xi Jinping's Mongolia visit brings accords in the areas of culture, energy, mining and infrastructure.
join our mailing list