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Bacteria-killing virus could replace traditional antibiotics, says study

Researchers in the US and Australia discovered that the bacteria bacteriophage lysin, PlyC, can kill bacteria that cause infections, potentially opening the door for a replacement to antibiotics.

Super virusEnlarge
A new study found that a killer virus could replace antibiotics in the future. (Wikimedia/Wikimedia commons)

Researchers have unlocked the workings of a deadly super virus that also kills bacteria.

Researchers in the US and Australia discovered that the bacteria bacteriophage lysin, PlyC, can kill bacteria that cause infections, potentially opening the door for a replacement to antibiotics.

“Scientists have been trying to decipher the structure of PlyC for more than 40 years. Finally knowing what it looks like, and how it attacks bacteria, is a huge step forward,” said study co-author Sheena McGowan of Monash University, said in a statement.

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The study of the bacteria dates back even further, yet with the advent of antibiotics in the 1940s, understanding the bacteria-killing power of lysin took a backseat.

News-Medical reported that the bacteria proved to be even more powerful than antibiotics.

The killing power of the bacteria suprised researchers.

”PlyC, in its purified form, has been shown to be 100 times more efficient at killing certain bacteria than any other lysin to date – even faster than household bleach,” said another study co-author Ashley Buckle from Monash University, reported Science Daily.

The discovery is outlined in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120725/bacteria-killing-virus-could-replace-traditional-antibiotics-says-study