Fighting Pathogens: A Few Good Bacteria
By Hamilton Waldron
Most people understand that there are good fats, cholesterols and sugars, but the whole concept of probiotics is a bit more complex. Probably because we tend to regard bacteria as a bad thing.
But there are actually several kinds of beneficial bacteria in our bodies, one of which may be a type of bacteria located in the human nasal cavity that was recently discovered by researchers in Germany.
The bacterium, which produces a new antibiotic compound currently referred to as Lugdunin, could eventually help establish a whole new class of antibiotic medicines to fight drug-resistant bacterial infections.
Lugdunin actually lives in an area of the nose that is home to more than 50 different kinds of bacteria. It also happens to be the first known example of a new class of peptide antibiotics, which are compounds consisting of two or more amino acids chained by a unique bond that helps join them together.
The bacterium that produces Lugdunin is known as Staphylococcus lugdunensis. Researchers have found that in experiments with mice, it is able to effectively treat a skin infection caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
In addition to those lab findings, the researchers have also studied 187 hospital patients’ nasal swabs, and found that of those with S. lugdunensis bacteria in noses, only 5.9 percent also were at risk of possible infection.
New Discoveries in Picking for Peptides
To bring it all into perspective, it’s still necessary to take a moment and understand how early all this research is. The team of researchers involved will need many years of work before the possibility of any new medicine emerging from all their extensive testing. But even these initial developments help to validate the way we use peptide antibiotics.
Various peptides are recommended for burning fat, building muscle, and improving athletic performance. Sometimes referred to as “small proteins,” their usage has skyrocketed with professional athletes in recent years. This is because they possess therapeutic capabilities that help maximize a body’s ability to fight off and recover from any sort of breakdown.
When there are so many deadly pathogens and superbugs around that put our bodies at risk, it’s nice to know that the basis for a possible game-changer in antibiotics could be right under our noses — or even in them.
- Do you know of any foods containing probiotics that you enjoy eating?
- What are some other kinds of good bacteria that our bodies need?