Saturday, 2 September 2017

Alternative antimicrobial compounds from wastewater

Biosurfactants are compounds produced naturally by bacteria, fungi or yeasts and they have been commercially utilised in shampoos, shower gels, and household cleaning products. They are also used in food, agriculture, cosmetic and medical industries as well as in environmental bioremediation to prevent the spread of spoilage and disease-causing bacteria.

The biosurfactants produced by the two bacteria in a recent study prevented the growth of major disease-causing bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and gentamicin-resistant E. coli which can lead to life-threatening infections in humans. This finding is promising given worldwide reports on the number of deaths caused by antimicrobial resistant microorganisms that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat with current drugs.

The discovery of novel antimicrobial compounds is a priority and biosurfactant compounds could be used to develop new antibiotics for treatment of various infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria and eventually replace ineffective antibiotics in future.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle