Hate cockroaches? Consider this before the next time you grab a can of Raid: one day, cockroaches may just save your life.
Experts from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science have discovered powerful antibiotic properties in the brains of cockroaches and locusts which could lead to novel treatments for multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. They found that the tissues of the brain and nervous system of the insects were able to kill more than 90 per cent of MRSA and pathogenic Escherichia coli, without harming human cells.
Simon Lee, a postgraduate researcher presented their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s autumn meeting which is being held at The University of Nottingham between the 6 and 9 September 2010. The research has identified up to nine different molecules in the insect tissues that were toxic to bacteria.
Simon Lee said: “We hope that these molecules could eventually be developed into treatments for E. coli and MRSA infections that are increasingly resistant to current drugs. These new antibiotics could potentially provide alternatives to currently available drugs that may be effective but have serious and unwanted side effects.”