A joint study conducted by researchers, including those from Cardiff and Swansea universities, has identified seaweed as an effective ingredient in developing new drugs that can fight against drug resistant diseases, including MRSA.
The study, funded mainly by Norwegian biopharmaceutical company AlgiPharma AS, found that a component in seaweed, called alginates, can be used to effectively fight off multi-drug resistant infections.
Alginates have already been used as gelling agents in food and in the healthcare industry for a number of years. The researchers will be analyzing how to make effective use of the component in developing new drugs which will be part of a £5.4 million research program.
"It is proving we are able to derive material from the natural world with powerful abilities to modify bacterial behavior and also to alter the structure of mucus in collections of bacteria and in sputum from patients with lung disease. These properties are being applied to the development of alternative treatment approaches for challenging and hard-to-treat diseases", Cardiff University's Professor David Thomas said.