Cockroach brain can help fight superbugs

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Cockroach brain can help fight superbugs

#1  Postby HughMcB » Sep 09, 2010 1:13 am

Cockroach brains help fight deadly human superbugs
Bacteria-busting compounds in pests' brains could lead to new ways to fight off ultra-resistant pathogens

By Wynne Parry
updated 9/8/2010 5:12:08 PM ET

In the battle against drug-resistant bacterial infections, researchers have identified two possible, if unlikely, allies: cockroaches and locusts.

Cockroaches, widely considered a public health menace, were documented carrying almost two dozen pathogens that can infect humans by researchers in 1991. Locusts, meanwhile, are associated with a different sort of plague, as their crop-devouring swarms earned them a place in the Bible.

But hidden in the brains and neural tissues of these insects, British researchers have found at least nine molecules that are toxic to bacteria. In fact, the molecules were able to kill more than 90 percent of the meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria in the lab.

Infections by both bacteria can have deadly consequences. MRSA causes serious staph infections that resist treatment and can lead to serious complications, organ failure and even death. Meanwhile, E.coli lives in our intestines, and is mostly harmless, but certain strains can cause an infection linked to kidney failure and even death, according to the National Institutes of Health. Antibiotic resistance has also been documented among certain types of E. coli.

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Re: Cockroach brain can help fight superbugs

#2  Postby Gallstones » Sep 09, 2010 7:44 am



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