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Living antibiotic effective against Salmonella
Date:6/27/2011

Scientists have tested a predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio against Salmonella in the guts of live chickens. They found that it significantly reduced the numbers of Salmonella bacteria and, importantly, showed that Bdellovibrio are safe when ingested.

The research was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, carried out by Professor Liz Sockett's team at The University of Nottingham, with Dr Robert Atterbury and Professor Paul Barrow at the University of Nottingham Vet School; and published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Researcher Dr Laura Hobley said "Bdellovibrio has the potential to be used as a living antibiotic against some major human and animal pathogens, such as E. coli and other so-called Gram-negative bacteria."

Previous studies have shown that Bdellovibrio is very effective at invading and killing other bacterial cells in a test tube. It looks likely to provide an alternative to antibiotic medicines at a time when bacterial resistance is a significant problem to human and animal health.

Dr Hobley continued "We think that Bdellovibrio could be particularly useful as a topical treatment for wounds or foot rots but we wanted to know what might happen if it is ingested either deliberately as a treatment, or by accident."

Salmonella likes to grow in the guts of poultry and other animals and can cause food poisoning in humans. In lab experiments Bdellovibrio can kill Salmonella by breaking into the cells and destroying them from the inside. This research shows that it also works inside the gut of a bird and is safe, not harming them or changing their behaviour.

Bdellovibrio reduced the numbers of Salmonella by 90% and the birds remained healthy, grew well, and were generally in good condition.

"We concluded that Bdellovibrio aren't long
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Contact: Mike Davies
mike.davies@bbsrc.ac.uk
44-179-341-4694
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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