Mother's touch

Published: Sunday 15 May 2005

researchers at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata have found discarded human placenta can help fight secondary infections caused by bacteria and fungi during protracted wounds. The placenta is a vascular (having vessels or ducts) organ formed during pregnancy to convey nutrition to the foetus. It is expelled after birth.

Piyali Datta Chakraborty and Debasish Bhattacharyya found an extract isolated from the placenta is highly effective against infections contracted during prolonged burn injuries and surgical wounds (Current Science, Vol 88, No 5). Bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and fungi such as Candida albicans generally cause such infections. The scientists carried out in vitro studies using the placental extract and found it significantly inhibited the growth of these pathogens. It was found to be effective even against certain bacterial strains resistant to common antibiotics such as ampicillin and chloramphenicol.

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