Chitosan can provide protection against typhoid
researchers from the Government College of Pharmacy, Tamil Nadu, have found that chitosan -- a natural polymer found in the waste of the processed seafood industry -- can provide protection against typhoid. Chitosan is derived from chitin, present in the exoskeleton of crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters and shrimps.
To study the anti-microbial potential of the polymer, the researchers placed paper cups containing chitosan dissolved in citric acid in plates of nutrient containing colonies of different typhoid-causing bacterial strains. After the plates were incubated for 24 hours, they were analysed for microbial growth inhibition. "We found that chitosan has an exceptionally good anti-bacterial activity," wrote A V Yadav and S B Bhise in the November 10 issue of the journal Current Science.
As a next step, the researchers compared the anti-microbial activity of chitosan with that of standard antibiotics. Its efficacy against several strains of the typhoid-causing Salmonella enterica , which are resistant to commonly-used antibiotics such as chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin, was found to be relatively high. The researchers hope the molecule will be used by the pharmaceutical industry to overcome the problem of resistance faced by many drugs.
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