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New Recruits in the Fight Against Disease: Anti-Bacterial 'Killing Machine' Deciphered

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Glynis Steele, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Glynis Steele

    Glynis Steele Senior Member

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    Newcastle upon Tyne UK
    ScienceDaily (July 23, 2012) — Scientists have discovered the structure and operating procedures of a powerful anti-bacterial killing machine that could become an alternative to antibiotics.

    In research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists from Monash University, The Rockefeller University and the University of Maryland detail how the bacteriophage lysin, PlyC, kills bacteria that cause infections from sore throats to pneumonia and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

    Bacteriophages, viruses that specifically infect and kill bacteria using special proteins called lysins, have been investigated as possible treatments since 1919. However, with the discovery of antibiotics in the 1940s, 'phage therapy' was generally abandoned.

    Associate Professor Buckle said the PlyC, which attacks the streptococci bacteria, was a very promising target for the future development of new drugs.

    "PlyC, in its purified form, has been shown to be 100 times more efficient at killing certain bacteria than any other lysin to date -- even faster than household bleach," Associate Professor Buckle said.
    First identified in 1925, PlyC was purified in the 1960s by Professor Fischetti, but its atomic structure proved elusive until now.

    Full article:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120724104640.htm
     
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