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Antibiotics in cockroach brains could treat MSRA and E-Coli

A troublesome household pest could soon provide healthy benefits to humans. Tissue from the brains and nervous systems of the common cockroach contain bacteria fighting properties that may help banish serious infections. As a result, “superbugs” like MRSA and E-Coli can be destroyed more than 90 percent of the time without damaging human cells. 

Researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the UK's University of Nottingham identified up to nine different molecules in the tissue of cockroaches and locusts that were toxic to bacteria.

The team of scientists has discovered that the bugs secrete their own antimicrobials and is currently studying specific properties of the antibacterial molecules. 

Simon Lee, a postgraduate researcher and Dr. Dr Naveed Khan, an Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology, presented their findings at the Society for General Microbiology’s meeting this week according to physorg.com

"Insects often live in unsanitary and unhygienic environments where they encounter many different types of bacteria. It is therefore logical that they have developed ways of protecting themselves against micro-organisms," said Lee.

The potency of the antibacterial molecules found in these insects are now being tested on various superbugs including Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Burkholderia. 

"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."





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