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A solution to sinusitis from the sea
Date:2/18/2013

samples from 20 different patients and isolated between two and six different species of bacteria from each individual. 24 different strains were investigated in the laboratory and all produced biofilms containing significant amounts of extracellular DNA. Biofilms formed by 14 strains were disrupted by treatment with the novel bacterial deoxyribonuclease, NucB.

When under threat, bacteria shield themselves in a slimy protective barrier. This slimy layer, known as a biofilm, is made up of bacteria held together by a web of extracellular DNA which adheres the bacteria to each other and to a solid surface in this case in the lining of the sinuses. The biofilm protects the bacteria from attack by antibiotics and makes it very difficult to clear them from the sinuses.

In previous studies of the marine bacterium Bacillus licheniformis, Newcastle University scientists led by marine microbiologist Professor Grant Burgess found that when the bacteria want to move on, they release an enzyme which breaks down the external DNA, breaking up the biofilm and releasing the bacteria from the web. When the enzyme NucB was purified and added to other biofilms it quickly dissolved the slime exposing the bacterial cells, leaving them vulnerable.

The team's next step is to further test and develop the product and they are looking to set up collaboration with industry.


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Contact: Karen Bidewell
press.office@ncl.ac.uk
44-019-122-27850
Newcastle University
Source:Eurekalert

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