Hot Article: Banishing bad bacteria

Polymers that can capture harmful bacteria as they pass through the gut have been developed by UK scientists. This could reduce incidence of salmonella poisoning and improve shelf-life of meat products, they claim. 

Colonising new frontiers—microarrays reveal biofilm modulating polymers  Salmonella, a major food-borne pathogen is a serious problem in the food industry, as well as of clinical and veterinary importance. The ‘use-by date’ marked on foods reflects the date by which such bacteria will have multiplied to their maximum safe level for consumption. 

‘If the pathogen level can be lowered at the point of food production, then the shelf-life may become longer and the food safer,’ says Mark Bradley at Edinburgh University. In collaboration with Maurice Gallagher, also at Edinburgh University, Bradley’s team have identified polymers that bind strongly to a particular strain of salmonella while having minimal effect on the beneficial ‘good’ bacteria. These polymers could be added to commercial feedstuff for animals, such as chickens.

This article has featured in Highlights in Chemical Science and has been selected as a ‘Hot Article’ for Journal of Materials Chemistry.  It will be free to read until the 9th November. 

To view Erica Wise’s full Highlights in Chemical Science article, please click here: Banishing bad bacteria 

To read the full article please click here: Colonising new frontiers—microarrays reveal biofilm modulating polymers
Salvatore Pernagallo, Mei Wu, Maurice P. Gallagher and Mark Bradley
J. Mater. Chem., 2011, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01987A, Paper

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