- Antiseptics are applied to the living tissue or skin to reduce infections.
- Acriflavine antiseptic from coal tar was used to treat wounds during World War I.
- Researchers from Melbourne find acriflavine antiseptic to be effective against common cold.
Antiseptic from World War I proves to be effective and useful against superbugs in the recent times, finds a study from Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne.
Antiseptics are antimicrobial preparations which are applied onto the skin to reduce infections. The research team found acriflavine to be helpful in triggering anti-viral immune response against common cold.
Acriflavine antiseptic obtained from coal tar was found to be useful to treat wounds and sleeping sickness in World War I. It was found to be effective against viral infections including common cold.
Acriflavine was used in the early 1915 to treat wounds but however was stopped after the discovery of penicillin in 1950.
Mechanism of Action:
Michael Gantier and Genevieve Pepin from Hudson Institute of Medical Research, found acriflavine antiseptic to be capable of binding with the bacterial DNA and slows down the spread of bacteria by triggering the immune response.
The research findings were published in the Nucleic Acids Research.
Antiseptic Effective Even After A Century
Dr Pepin studied the effect of antiseptic in common cold and found that if the cells were treated two days before common cold exposure, then the virus will not be able to replicate quickly.
Dr. Gantier said, "In a patient, that would mean that if you were to encounter the virus, you wouldn't feel as sick and you would clear the infection quicker."
Further research and clinical trials are required to know whether acriflavine can protect against influenza as well as the new strains.
The antiseptic is extremely cheap and can be easily transported since it does not require any accurate temperature or humidity.
The researchers attributed the internet with the team's ability to easily find research from early 1900s.
"A lot of things are being dropped because they're not that efficient, but in fact going back to them might be a good idea because they're very well characterized." he said.