Horse manure fungus contains antibiotic

Horse manure fungus contains antibiotic

Horse manure fungus contains antibiotic
09.11.2014

Researchers in Switzerland and Germany have discovered a possible new antibiotic on horse manure. It is a mushroom, the shaggy dung ink that thrives on horse apples. According to the scientists, use in the food industry would be conceivable.

Mushroom grows on horse apples Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and the University of Bonn have discovered a possible new antibiotic on horse manure. It is a mushroom, the shaggy dung-ink, that thrives on the remains of horses. As the Swiss news agency SDA reports, the scientists managed to isolate a previously unknown active ingredient from this fungus, which kills bacteria. Copsin, as the substance is called, therefore has the same effect as classic antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings in the specialist journal “The Journal of Biological Chemistry”.

Possible use as an antibiotic On Friday, ETH announced that copsin is one of the so-called defensins. These are small proteins that many living things produce themselves to ward off pathogenic microorganisms. It is still unclear what the active ingredient from the horse excrement mushroom could be used for. “It remains to be seen whether Copsin can one day be used as an antibiotic in medicine. This is not certain, but it cannot be ruled out either, ”says study author and mycologist Markus Aebi, according to press reports.

Application in the food industry conceivable For the researchers at ETH, who have already registered a patent for the active ingredient from the horse apple mushroom, an application in the food industry is also conceivable. This is because the substance kills pathogenic germs such as listeria. These bacteria can lead to life-threatening food poisoning, such as the notifiable infectious disease listeriosis. They are therefore feared in the production of unheated foods, such as raw milk cheese or dried meat. (ad)

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