Patient Summary of the Ancientbiotic Study
3rd December 2022
What is the problem?
Resistance to antibiotics is a big problem in healthcare. We need to find new ways to tackle infections.
Important infection treatments have been produced from natural materials, such as penicillin and honey-based wound dressings.
We have been exploring some of the traditional infection remedies written about in historical books and manuscripts.
We made a medieval infection remedy in the laboratory and found that it killed harmful bacteria. The recipe contained garlic, onion, cows’ bile and wine. We have been researching this ‘ancientbiotic’ for several years and we think it could be used to produce a dressing with medication to treat antibiotic-resistant infections in wounds.
What did we do?
We wanted to test whether the ancientbiotic remedy is likely to be safe to apply to wounds. We need to check this first before deciding if the remedy could be developed into a useful treatment. A good first step in safety testing is to check whether the remedy causes any irritation or skin reaction when it is applied to healthy, non-wounded skin.
We tested the ancientbiotic on healthy human volunteers. We asked 100 volunteer men and women of different ages to take part. They agreed to have a drop of the ancientbiotic applied to their arm and keep it covered with a plaster for two days.
We then looked to see if there were any signs of redness or reaction to the paste.
What did we find out?
Some of our volunteers reported signs of redness and irritation at the site where the ancientbiotic was applied, but these were minor and did not last very long. Because nobody had a serious reaction to the ancientbiotic, we concluded that it is worth continuing with our research.
We will now work to find out what molecules in the ancientbiotic are responsible for antibacterial activity. We will make a synthetic version of the ancientbiotic that can be tested further. The next phase of our research will be to test the ancientbiotic remedy to see if it is effective and safe when applied to real infected wounds.