Volcanic clay found to kill 99 per cent of MRSA superbugs

November 14th, 2007 - 3:01 am ICT by admin  
The researchers believe that agricur, found in the Massif Central mountain range, may pave the way for the creation of antibiotics to which superbugs have no resistance.

They said that the clay was found to wipe out bug colonies in a day during laboratory experiments. They also revealed that control samples of MRSA, which were not treated with agricur, grew 45-fold over the same period.

Other deadly bacteria such as salmonella and a flesh-eating disease called buruli, which is a relative of leprosy, were killed by the clay during the experiments.

It was French doctor Line Brunet de Course who first discovered the healing properties of French green clays, mostly made of minerals called smectite and illite. She used it to fight buruli at clinics in Ivory Coast and Guinea.

The World health Organisation welcomed her work when she approached it in 2002 with 50 case studies. However, it denied her funding because of a lack of scientific evidence.

Brunet de Course’s son Thierry searched for scientists willing to test agricur after his mother’s death, and found an associate in Dr Lynda Williams of Arizona State University, a specialist in the study of clay.

Dr. Williams and her colleague Dr Shelley Haydel will presented their findings about agricur and other clays to the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Denver.

The scientists are still unclear as to how agricur treats MRSA and other infections. They believe that the efficacy of agricur in treating superbugs may be based on the involvement of more than one component.

“We have found several anti-bacterial clays that appear to transfer unidentified elements to the bacteria that impede their metabolic function,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Williams, a minerals expert, as saying.

“It is possible that it is not one single element that is toxic to the bacteria, but a combination of elements and chemical conditions that attack the bacteria from different angles so as to overwhelm their defence systems,” she added.

The researchers also backed the possibility that the clay worked through a physical rather than a biochemical process, meaning that bacteria could never develop resistance.

“It’s fascinating. Here we are bridging geology, microbiology, cell biology. A year ago, I’d look at the clay and say, ‘Well, that’s dirt,’” Dr Haydel, a microbiologist, said. (ANI)

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