JAN 29, 2016 06:19 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
SEP 27, 2018
Microbiology
SEP 27, 2018
How Bacterial Cells Take out the Trash
Some types of bacteria create tiny versions of themselves that cannot reproduce - miniature spheres lacking chromosomal DNA that are known as minicells....
NOV 02, 2018
Microbiology
NOV 02, 2018
As the Climate Warms, Lyme Disease Cases Will Increase
Ticks are known to carry infectious illnesses; Lyme disease is North America's most common tick-borne disease....
NOV 29, 2018
Microbiology
NOV 29, 2018
Bacteria may Explain the Symbiotic Relationship of Anemones & Clownfish
Sea anemones normally kill and eat fish. But clownfish can nestle into anemones without getting stung....
DEC 08, 2018
Cardiology
DEC 08, 2018
Atrial Fibrillation, Explained
Atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) is a term you've likely heard before. You may have even been told you live with A-Fib. What exactly is this common type of...
DEC 09, 2018
Microbiology
DEC 09, 2018
Gut Microbiomes Vary Among Ethnicities
Many products that purport to change the microbiome have entered the market. But first we have to know what a healthy microbiome looks like....
DEC 12, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
DEC 12, 2018
Study Shows Why Diets Rich in Red Meat Increase Heart Disease Risk
For decades, we've known that red meat is a risk factor for heart disease. Now, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic know why....
Loading Comments...