Bugs living in the nose fight back against superbugs – comment from Professor Colin Garner

Claire Williamson Uncategorised

Picking your nose and eating your snot might be good for you…

According to reports a new class of antibiotics has been discovered by analysing bacteria in people’s noses. The University of Tubingen in Germany undertook the tests and the journal Nature reported the findings of the resulting drug, lugdunin which could treat superbug infections. The researchers at the University of Tubingen in Germany informed Nature that the human body is an untapped source of new drugs.

Professor Colin Garner, chief executive of Antibiotic Research UK, the world’s first charity established to tackle the threat of antibiotic resistance, says: “Altering the balance of bacteria in our bodies through the production of natural antibiotics could eventually be exploited to fight off bacterial infections. It is possible that this report will be the first of many demonstrating that bacteria in our bodies can produce novel antibiotics with new chemical structures.

“Alongside a report that men with beards have fewer pathogens including MRSA on their faces than clean-shaven men, it seems the paper identifying lugdunin should be viewed alongside facial hair as a preventer of infection. Perhaps stopping people picking their nose, and eating or swallowing snot, may actually be the wrong thing to do, as lugdunin and possibly other natural antibiotics might be fighting infections in our bodies all the time.”

The report was covered on the BBC website, and both Professor Garner and Emily Morris, a charity ambassador, were interviewed for the BBC’s 6 o’clock news. Professor Garner also spoke on BBC Radio Stoke and BBC Radio Wales, while Dr David Brown spoke to Newstalk in Ireland about the results of this research.