Log In
Saturday 26th May 2018

Volcanic mud kills superbugs

30th October 2007

Researchers have found a kind of volcanic mud which could tackle antibiotic-resistant superbugs that plague British hospitals.


The clay, found in the Massif Central mountain range, was able to kill up to 99% of colonies of bacteria like MRSA and E coli during a 24-hour period, scientists said.

Known as agricur, the mud could form the basis for a new form of antibiotics against which the germs have no resistance.

It was also found to kill colonies of salmonella and buruli, a flesh-eating disease related to leprosy which affects children across central and western Africa.

MRSA and other bacteria have developed resistance to a wide range of antibiotics, mostly because of a failure on the part of patients to finish a course of treatment. This enables the surviving bacteria to adapt to fight off the antibiotic, which was intended to wipe them all out.

Until now, the search for antibiotics to replace those currently available, such as penicillin, has only met with limited success.

French green clays, which are rich in minerals called smectite and illite, are already known for their medicinal properties, and have been used by French physician Line Brunet de Course to fight buruli in the Ivory Coast and Guinea.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the effects of the clays as 'impressive'.

Share this page


mitch clogg

Wednesday 31st October 2007 @ 21:56

This is not an article; it's a teaser. How was the discovery made, how is the mud obtained, how's it used(internally? externally?), how does it kill, who are the researchers, what's being done now, is this liable to be just another flash in the pan or more?

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2018