Navigation Links
Chemical compounds in trees can fight deadly staph infections in humans
Date:2/22/2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. Most people would never suspect that a "trash tree," one with little economic value and often removed by farmers due to its ability to destroy farmland, could be the key to fighting a deadly bacterium. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found an antibiotic in the Eastern Red Cedar tree that is effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a "superbug" that is resistant to most medications.

"I wanted to find a use for a tree species that is considered a nuisance," said Chung-Ho Lin, research assistant professor in the MU Center for Agroforestry at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. "This discovery could help people fight the bacteria as well as give farmers another cash crop."

MRSA is an evolving bacterium that is resistant to most medications. For most people, the infection is isolated to the skin. However, it can spread to vital organs causing toxic shock syndrome and pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. The incidence of disease caused by MRSA bacteria is increasing worldwide. Thirty years ago, MRSA accounted for 2 percent of all staph infections. By 2003, that number had climbed to 64 percent. In 2005, more than 94,000 people developed life-threatening MRSA infections in the United States, according to a Centers for Disease Control report. Nearly 19,000 people died during hospital stays related to these infections.

While the Eastern Red Cedar has few commercial uses, it is present in the U.S. in large numbers and its range extends from Kansas to the eastern United States. An estimated 500 million trees grow in Missouri. Lin began his investigation by building on existing research showing the anti-bacterial potential of chemical compounds derived from the tree.

Lin, George Stewart, professor and department chair of Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and Brian Thompson, postdoctoral fellow in the Bond Life Sciences Center, identified, isolated and tested 17 bioactive compounds and has plans to analyze more compounds. Scientists found that a relatively small concentration of a chemical compound found in the Eastern Red Cedar 5 micrograms per milliliter was effective against MRSA. The team tested the compound's effectiveness against many versions of MRSA in a test tube with promising initial results.

"We found this chemical from the cedar needles, an abundant and renewable resource that can be collected annually," co-researcher Brian Thompson said. "Because the compound is in the needles, we don't have to cut down the trees."

In addition to its potential use in fighting MRSA, researchers found that some chemical compounds in the tree are able to fight and kill skin cancer cells present in mice. It may also be effective as a topical acne treatment. Stewart said the compounds are years away from commercial use, as they must go through clinical trials. The team's research was presented recently at the International Conference on Gram-Positive Pathogens.


'/>"/>

Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Chemical engineer earns National Science Foundation CAREER award for work with graphene quantum dots
2. LSU biologist, chemical engineer partner with industry to develop best soft lure available
3. Ben-Gurion U. and PTT Chemical sign R&D agreement to commercialize green algae strain
4. Quality standards for biological, chemical drugs and public health are focus of India meeting
5. With chemical modification, stable RNA nanoparticles go 3-D
6. Manchester leads green chemical training push
7. UCSF study identifies chemicals in pregnant women
8. Press registration opens for American Chemical Society National Meeting, March 27-31, 2011
9. Long-lasting chemicals threaten the environment and human health
10. Boosting supply of key brain chemical reduces fatigue in mice
11. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor Georges Belfort wins biochemical engineering award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Chemical compounds in trees can fight deadly staph infections in humans
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour ... from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. ... receptivity to a program where they would receive discounts ... company. "We were surprised to see that ... LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... their findings on what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker ... new research. Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Hill, N.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... U.S. commercial operations for Amgen, will join the faculty of the University ... serve as adjunct professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... TOKYO , June 24, 2016  Regular discussions on ... to take place between the two entities said Poloz. ... in Ottawa , he pointed to the ... and the federal government. ... Poloz said, "Both institutions have common economic goals, why not ...
Breaking Biology Technology: