Spray-on bacteria is one company’s surprising idea for curing skin conditions
In medical terms the microbiome is often associated with the gut, but there are millions of different bacteria, viruses and fungi that live on the surface of our skin or in our glands. So scientists believe learning more about what is harbouring on our skin, could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of skin conditions.
A biotech start up from Cambridge called AOBiome is developing a bacterial skin mist that does the complete opposite to soaps and shampoos.The mist contains a billion of ammonia oxidizing bacteria called Nitrosomonas eutropha, that AOBiome believe that the bacteria used to live naturally on our skin, feeding on ammonia in sweat and acting as a natural cleanser, deodorant and natural booster to the immune system.
Julia Scott who contributes to the New York Times, wrote about her experience as an early tester of this new product, AOBiome are also marketing the mist as a cosmetic product.
“My skin began to change for the better. It actually became softer and smoother, rather than dry and flaky, as though a sauna’s worth of humidity had penetrated my winter-hardened shell. And my complexion, prone to hormone-related breakouts, was clear.”
AOBiome have a long term goal and that is to have the bacteria used as a medical treatment. They have found in early lab tests that the mist can diminishes other harmful bacteria which include MRSA and propionibacterium acnes and a bacteria associated with acne.
The company plans to file an IND with the FDA to test its potential as a treatment for diabetic ulcers and other dermatologic conditions. This new treatment could revolutionise how people are treated with wounds that fail to respond to antibiotics could be given a probiotic cocktail adapted to fight the specific strain of infecting bacteria. It could also alter body odour to repel insects and thereby fight against malaria and dengue fever.
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