JAN 29, 2016 6:19 PM PST

Magic Mud - The Next Antibiotic?

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Evans
University of British Columbia researchers are taking the fight to antibiotic resistant bacteria - with mud.

Well, technically it’s clay.  Members of the Heiltsuk First Nation recognized the clay’s healing properties long ago.  Recently, however, the clay was found to have potent antibacterial activity against resistant bacteria - ESKAPE pathogens, to be exact.
 
Clay from British Columbia - the next antibiotic?

ESKAPE pathogens include Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species.  These bacteria are responsible for a number of hospital-acquired infections due to their ability to “escape” treatment. According to study author Julian Davies, “infections caused by ESKAPE bacteria are essentially untreatable and contribute to increasing mortality in hospitals”.

Where antibiotics fail, the clay deposits found just north of Vancouver may prove useful against ESKAPE pathogens.  The clay killed 16 strains of ESKAPE bacteria collected from local hospitals as well as from a wastewater treatment facility.  What’s more, no toxic side effects have been reported - the clay is widely used for cosmetics and has been used by First Nations people to treat conditions such as colitis, arthritis, and burns.

According to Lawrence Lund, president of Kisameet Glacial Clay, “we hope [this study] will lead to the development of a novel and safe antimicrobial that can be added to the diminished arsenal for the fight against the ESKAPE pathogens and other infection-related health issues plaguing the planet”.

Sources: Science Daily, Medscape
 
About the Author
  • Kerry received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
You May Also Like
AUG 29, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Together, Two Gut Microbes Have a Nasty Effect
AUG 29, 2020
Together, Two Gut Microbes Have a Nasty Effect
The microbes in the human gut play important roles in our physiology, and they can also contribute to disease. But they ...
SEP 04, 2020
Microbiology
Researchers Discover a Way to Use Microbes to Help Make Plastic
SEP 04, 2020
Researchers Discover a Way to Use Microbes to Help Make Plastic
Researchers have discovered that some bacteria can make ethylene in a way we never knew about; microbes that metabolize ...
SEP 06, 2020
Microbiology
Small Changes in Vaccine Molecules Could Make Them More Effective
SEP 06, 2020
Small Changes in Vaccine Molecules Could Make Them More Effective
Effective vaccines have to trigger an immune response, which is intended to create an immune 'memory' of a specific infe ...
OCT 13, 2020
Microbiology
Bacterial Biofilms Can Take on Some Animal-Like Characteristics
OCT 13, 2020
Bacterial Biofilms Can Take on Some Animal-Like Characteristics
Bacteria are everywhere, even inside of our bodies, and they are thought to date back to the early days of life on Earth ...
OCT 26, 2020
Microbiology
A Network of Fungi Helps Trees Grow
OCT 26, 2020
A Network of Fungi Helps Trees Grow
Trees rely on a network of fungal friends for good health. Communities of trees can share nutrients and other essentail ...
NOV 12, 2020
Immunology
The Enzyme That Keeps Viruses In Stealth Mode
NOV 12, 2020
The Enzyme That Keeps Viruses In Stealth Mode
Some viral infections just don’t go away. The hepatitis C virus, for instance, can result in life-long chronic inf ...
Loading Comments...