Washington: Proteins in the eye can help keep pathogens at bay, a study has found, paving the way for new and inexpensive antimicrobial drugs.A team of University of California - Berkeley scientists has found that small fragments of keratin protein in the eye play a key role in warding off pathogens.The researchers also put synthetic versions of these keratin fragments to the test against an array of nasty pathogens.These synthetic molecules effectively zapped bacteria that can lead to flesh-eating disease and strep throat (Streptococcus pyogenes), diarrhea (Escherichia coli), staph infections (Staphylococcus aureus) and cystic fibrosis lung infections (Pseudomonas aeruginosa).These keratin fragments are relatively easy to manufacture, making them good candidates for low-cost therapeutics, the study authors said.
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