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Bioengineered Bugs (1)
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM (1)
Barron, Denis (1)
Coffey, Aidan (1)
Dunne, Colum (1)
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O’Connell, Nuala H (1)
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A commentary on the role of molecular technology and automation in clinical diagnostics
O’Connell, Nuala H
Historically, the identification of bacterial or yeast isolates has been based on phenotypic characteristics such as growth on defined media, colony morphology, Gram stain, and various biochemical reactions, with significant delay in diagnosis. Clinical microbiology as a medical specialty has embraced advances in molecular technology for rapid species identification with broad-range 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and matrix-assisted laser desorption and/or ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry demonstrated as accurate, rapid, and cost-effective methods for the identification of most, but not all, bacteria and yeasts. Protracted conventional incubation times previously necessary to identify certain species have been mitigated, affording patients quicker diagnosis with associated reduction in exposure to empiric broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy and shortened hospital stay. This short commentary details such molecular advances and their implications in the clinical microbiology setting.
clinical microbiology; MALDI; PCR; patient care; impact
Recombinant bacteriophage lysins as antibacterials
With the increasing worldwide prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, bacteriophage endolysins (lysins) represent a very promising novel alternative class of antibacterial in the fight against infectious disease. Lysins are phage-encoded peptidoglycan hydrolases which, when applied exogenously (as purified recombinant proteins) to Gram-positive bacteria, bring about rapid lysis and death of the bacterial cell. A number of studies have recently demonstrated the strong potential of these enzymes in human and veterinary medicine to control and treat pathogens on mucosal surfaces and in systemic infections. They also have potential in diagnostics and detection, bio-defence, elimination of food pathogens and control of phytopathogens. This review discusses the extensive research on recombinant bacteriophage lysins in the context of antibacterials, and looks forward to future development and potential.
lysin; endolysin; bacteriophage; pathogen; antibacterial; infection; lytic; enzyme
What's in a Name? Can Mullein Weed Beat TB Where Modern Drugs Are Failing?
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
Common mullein weed (Verbascum thapsus) has a large number of synonyms and old local “nick names” which connect the plant with mycobacteria. A strong history of medicinal use has been uncovered for the treatment of tuberculosis, tubercular skin disease, leprosy, and mycobacterial disease in animals. Here, we examine problems encountered in treating such diseases today, the historical and scientific links between mullein and pathogenic bacteria, and the possibility that this common weed could harbour the answer to beating one of the world's biggest infectious killers.
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