Australian researchers claim that they have identified a new viral protein that could be used effectively as an alternative to antibiotics.
The study was conducted by researchers at Monash University in Melbourne in collaboration with The Rockfeller University and the University of Maryland in the United States. The researchers said that the protein, known as PlyC, was initially discovered back in 1925 but was dropped following the discovery of antibiotics.
The researchers revealed that PlyC could be used to kill bacteria that cause infections ranging from pneumonia to streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. The researchers added that the protein could be a promising target for development of future drugs.
"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. "It operates by locking onto the bacterial surface using eight separate docking sites located on one face of the saucer. The two warheads can then chew through the surface of the cell, rapidly killing the bacteria", lead researcher Dr Sheena McGowan said.