Skip to comments.Sweat protects us from dangerous bugs
Posted on 02/24/2013 10:54:27 PM PST by neverdem
Scientists has discovered how an important natural antibiotic called dermcidin, produced by our skin when we sweat, is a highly efficient tool to fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous bugs.
Their results could contribute to the development of new antibiotics that control multi-resistant bacteria.
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and from Goettingen, Tuebingen and Strasbourg have uncovered the atomic structure of the compound, enabling them to pinpoint for the first time what makes dermcidin such an efficient weapon in the battle against dangerous bugs.
Although about 1700 types of these natural antibiotics are known to exist, scientists did not until now have a detailed understanding of how they work.
Sweat spreads highly efficient antibiotics on to our skin, which protect us from dangerous bugs. If our skin becomes injured by a small cut, a scratch, or the sting of a mosquito, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, such as dermcidin, rapidly and efficiently kill invaders.
These natural substances, known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), are more effective in the long term than traditional antibiotics, because germs are not capable of quickly developing resistance against them.
The antimicrobials can attack the bugs'' Achilles'' heel - their cell wall, which cannot be modified quickly to resist attack. Because of this, AMPs have great potential to form a new generation of antibiotics.
Scientists have known for some time that dermcidin is activated in salty, slightly acidic sweat. The molecule then forms tiny channels perforating the cell membrane of bugs, which are stabilised by charged particles of zinc present in sweat. As a consequence, water and charged particles flow uncontrollably across the membrane, eventually killing the harmful microbes.
Through a combination of techniques, scientists were able to determine the atomic structure of the molecular channel. They found that it is unusually long, permeable and adaptable, and so represents a new class of membrane protein.
The team also discovered that dermcidin can adapt to extremely variable types of membrane. Scientists said this could explain why active dermcidin is such an efficient broad-spectrum antibiotic, able to fend off bacteria and fungi at the same time.
The international team of scientists hopes that their results can contribute to the development of a new class of antibiotics that is able to attack such dangerous germs.
The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
No sense in washing away those naturally protective substances.
interesting. i can see why eating garlic is helpful in sweat too. the allicin may actually be in the sweat as well as the rest of the body.
Rats!!! I thought that said “sweets protect us....”
Times of India, eh. They trying to encourage people to not get air conditioning?
All I know is that when I sweat, the microbes on my body love it. So do creatures like mosquitoes . . .
I always thought sweat brought the toxins out of you, and you then shower/bathe them off.
There are microbes that love sweat, but dermcidin is real and powerful. The down side of this discovery is huge though. When we use it in a sloppy manner (and we will), the result will be dermcidin-resistant bacteria. That’s not a disaster if they are dermcidin-resistant body odor, but what about dermcidin-resistant TB? I hope they fail in developing this antibiotic commercially, although it is likely that they will be able to move quickly.
Americans with brains have been sweating profusely over these past four years and will sweat even more over the next four.
This excessive sweating hasn’t protected us from the bug that has infested the White Hut and our once great nation.
So what happens when they market these drugs and bacteria develop resistance? We will all end up with tribulation like boils.
Mosquitos are attracted to CO2 ~ in your breath!