Nisin, a commonly used food preservative effectively neutralizes anthrax spores and could be used to decontaminate skin in the event of exposure. Researchers from Biosynexus, Inccorporated report their findings today at the 2005 American Society for Microbiology Biodefense Research Meeting.
"Contamination of human skin with even a few spores may potentially disseminate disease beyond the initial area of attack," says John Kokai-Kun, a researcher on the study. "There is currently nothing specifically approved for decontaminating human skin of anthrax spores."
Nisin is a natural antimicrobial peptide used as a preservative in heat-processed and low pH foods. It is derived from the controlled fermentation of the naturally occurring milk bacteria Lactococcus lactis. Nisin was awarded the Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) designation in the U.S. Federal Register of April, 1988 and is approved as a natural food preservative in the United States. It is also being used in the dairy industry as a topical treatment for mastitis.
Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
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