The use of antibiotics is very common in our everyday life, especially for major diseases and infections. One main infection that is cured using strong antibiotics is the urinary tract infections (UTIs). The antibiotic used however is not efficient enough and has a lot of side effects that are not wanted.
This is why a group of scientists have found a new breakthrough in the medicine field, where they discovered that Zinc as a mineral can be used in humans’ immune system for treatment of UTIs; without any use of antibiotics.
UTIs was the main focus of their study due to its high influence and effects on the human race. It is known to affect over 150 million people annually and can lead to complications. The team from the University of Queensland, were inspired and led by Professor Matt Sweet, Professor Mark Schembri and Dr. Ronan Kapetanovic.
They first stared understanding how the immune system works and they pushed zinc to the infection, observing the effect on uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Zinc is well-known to be toxic for bacteria which is why it was the main mineral understudy.
The study explained, “We found that, compared to non-pathogenic bacteria, UPEC can evade the zinc toxicity response of macrophages, but these bacteria also show enhanced resistance to the toxic effects of the zinc.”
Further studies will be conducted to study the effect of Zinc on other different bacterial infections rather than UTIs.