Cockroaches could help combat E.coli

Powerful antibiotic molecules in cockroach and locust tissues can counter MRSA and E.coli bugs.

Last Updated: Sep 05, 2010, 19:00 PM IST

London: Powerful antibiotic molecules, present in cockroach and locust tissues, could counter MRSA and E.coli bugs. MRSA is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.

Scientists at the Nottingham University found that these much reviled insects could actually be more of a health benefit than a health risk.
They have identified up to nine different molecules in brains and tissues of cockroaches and locusts that are toxic to deadly bugs, possibly opening the way to treat multi-drug resistant bacterial infections, reports the Telegraph.

These molecules in the brain and nervous system of the insects were able to kill more than 90 percent of MRSA and E.coli bacteria, without harming human cells.

Said Simon Lee, postgraduate researcher and microbiologist: "We hope these molecules could eventually be developed into treatments for E.coli and MRSA infections that are increasingly resistant to current drugs.

"Also, these new antibiotics could potentially provide alternatives to currently available drugs that may be effective but have serious and unwanted side effects," he said.

IANS