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Wednesday September  8, 09:56

The cockroaches are perhaps the source of future antibiotics

It is living in unsanitary places that cockroaches have developed molecules effective against bacteria
It is living in unsanitary places that cockroaches have developed molecules effective against bacteria

The recent emergence of "superbugs" resistant to most conventional treatment was put into perspective the troubling lack of new generations of antibiotics. In this context, all avenues of research are interesting. Researchers at the University of Nottingham have had such a good idea to look at what could be found in the brains of cockroaches.

Why is this a good idea? Because the reputation that insects live in dirty places and infested with bacteria is not misused. They are therefore very vulnerable to infections. "As a logical enough, they have developed ways to protect themselves from microbes," said Simon Lee, who outlined his findings in Fall Conference of the Society for General Microbiology UK.

More than ten years to wait before any marketing

At least nine different molecules are toxic to bacteria but not human cells, have been identified in the brains of cockroaches. "We hope they will eventually serve as treatment against Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus, infections often resistant to conventional drugs," said the researcher.

Searches are still underway to determine the potential of these new molecules on the bacteria particularly robust. In the best case, it would still have to wait several years before seeing commercialized a new class of antibiotic.

For example, the last antibiotic that is being marketed tigecycline. Placing on the market in 2005 in the United States, it was discovered 13 years ago, in 1992. Experts also wait for any new antibiotic operational in the next decade.


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