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:4/11/2017)... No two people are believed to ... York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan ... partial similarities between prints are common enough that ... and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable ... in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature ...
(Date:4/6/2017)... -- Forecasts by Product Type (EAC), Biometrics, ... (Transportation & Logistics, Government & Public Sector, Utilities / ... Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, Business Organisation (BFSI), Hospitality ... looking for a definitive report on the $27.9bn Access ... ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... ... activities supporting EDETEK’s products including training, implementation, support, and client process and SOP ... role. He has previously held leadership roles for service providers and top-tier pharmaceuticals, ...
(Date:6/19/2017)... ... June 19, 2017 , ... A colony of healthy honey bees is like ... delivering pollen and nectar containing nutrients necessary for growth and survival. Better nutrition gives ... recent indicators point to a decline in honey bee health. Sick and weakened bees ...
(Date:6/16/2017)... Rocky Hill, CT (PRWEB) , ... June 16, 2017 , ... ... of last night’s Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (EIA), held at The LOFT at Chelsea Piers ... their innovative project ideas to a panel of judges for an opportunity to secure ...
(Date:6/15/2017)... ... June 15, 2017 , ... The newest ... artist’s journey through creative experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration. Feature Creep, a solo exhibition ... An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market Street ...
Breaking Biology Technology: