Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Antibacterial in Your Toothpaste May Combat Severe Lung Disease

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Antibacterial in Your Toothpaste May Combat Severe Lung Disease

Article excerpt

A common antibacterial substance found in toothpaste may combat life-threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis, or CF, when combined with an already FDA-approved drug. Michigan State University researchers have found that when triclosan, a substance that reduces or prevents bacteria from growing, is combined with an antibiotic called tobramycin, it kills the cells that protect the CF bacteria, known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, by up to 99.9 percent.

CF is a common genetic disease with one in every 2,500 to 3,500 people diagnosed with it at an early age. It results in a thick mucus in the lungs, which becomes a magnet for bacteria. These bacteria are notoriously difficult to kill because they are protected by a slimy barrier known as a biofilm, which allows the disease to thrive even when treated with antibiotics.

"The problem that we're really tackling is finding ways to kill these biofilms," said Chris Waters, lead author of the study and a microbiology professor.

According to Waters, there are many common biofilm-related infections that people get such as ear infections and swollen, painful gums caused by gingivitis. But more serious, potentially fatal diseases join the ranks of CF including endocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, as well as infections from artificial hip and pacemaker implants. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.