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Natural antibiotic could fight TB, other germs: Study

Written by: QMI Agency
Feb. 22, 2013

Chest X-ray of a person with tuberculosis. (Wikimedia Commons/CDC Public Health Image Library/HO)


A natural antibiotic produced by our skin when we sweat could be harnessed as a powerful tool to fight tuberculosis germs and other bugs.

Dermcidin is produced by our skin when we sweat, and it fights off germs when skin is injured by a cut, scratch or bug bite.

In the study published in the journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, researchers explain that the atomic structure of the molecular channel is unusually long, permeable and adaptable, and that dermcidin can adapt to invade very different types of germ molecules.

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"Antibiotics are not only available on prescription. Our own bodies produce efficient substances to fend off bacteria, fungi and viruses," study author Ulrich Zachariae said. "Now that we know in detail how these natural antibiotics work, we can use this to help develop infection-fighting drugs that are more effective than conventional antibiotics."

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