Microbiologists are confident that contained in the mucus viruses, destroy dangerous bacteria.
The group of microbiologists led by Jeremy Barr from the University of San Diego (San Diego State University) examined the useful properties of some viruses contained in the mucus and came to the conclusion that the latter can destroy dangerous bacteria.
"Slime - a very curious substance Compound. Its gel-like consistency is formed by a special substance - mucin. Molecules of the substance are brushes microscopic size. They consist of a protein framework that is covered with thin threads of sugar. Mucus in between mucin molecules is a mixture of nutrients certain substances and chemicals that keep microbes at a distance. many kinds of bacteria live in close proximity to the surfaces covered compounds of this type, "- says Barr.
Among other things, the mucus is "home" to kill the bacteria viruses - bacteriophages. Scientists have found out that in the mucus of bacteriophages present much more than neighboring tissues that do not contain mucin molecules.
In order to determine the function of these viruses in the body, researchers in the laboratory grown human lung tissue, infecting her with E. coli. At each culture was marked by the death of about half of the cells, suggesting that the rescue of any living tissue, mucus did not participate. However, after the addition of the fabric of bacteriophage resistance of the fabric to the destructive properties of E. coli has risen sharply, and then survived a lot more cells.
During this experiment failed to demonstrate that lethal bacteriophages destroy bacteria. A number of experiments allowed the researchers to determine that bacteriophages provide yourself full access to the bacteria attaching to the mucous membranes.
"This is another real immune system, which, by its principle protects the body from the deadly disease-causing bacteria. Phages get accustomed to virtually any mucus-covered surfaces. In biology is one of the first examples of symbiotic (mutually beneficial relationship) virus and animal organisms," - said Barr .
The expert from the Australian Centre Mater Research, Michael McGuckin, who was not involved in the study believe that the information obtained will help in the development of revolutionary new methods to deal with such inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.