Top Health Tools
Top Health Tools

Top Reports
Top Reports
Top Articles
Top Articles

Top Reviews
Top Reviews
Breaking a Sweat Produces Germ Fighter

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - While some people spend a lifetime trying to hide the fact that they produce sweat, new study findings suggest that the bodily excretion may be a lifesaver. It seems that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may lend a hand in fighting off infections, according to a report released on Sunday.

What's more, German researchers have isolated the gene responsible for the compound. They report their findings in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Immunology for December.

Dr. Birgit Schittek of Eberhard-Karls University in Tubingen, Germany, and colleagues dubbed the gene--and the protein it produces--dermicidin.

``Dermicidin can probably limit an infection very early,'' Schittek told Reuters Health. ``Sweating is in this way a first line of defense against infectious agents,'' the researcher added.

It seems that dermicidin is manufactured in the body's sweat glands, secreted into the sweat and transported to the surface of the skin, the report indicates.

``This is the first antimicrobial (agent) found which is produced by cells in the human skin and which is permanently produced--this means that it provides a constant protection against invading microorganisms,'' Schittek said.

The investigators found that dermicidin was active against many different types of bacteria, including Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis, which are normal inhabitants of the intestines that can infect wounds or contaminate food, as well as Staphylococcus aureus (a common cause of skin infections), and Candida albicans (a fungus that is another cause of infections).

The findings indicate ``that human sweat contains at least one antimicrobial protein, which may play a role in the regulation of human skin (microbes),'' the authors write.

Dermcidin ``may help limit infection by potential pathogens in the first few hours following bacterial colonization,'' they add.

SOURCE: Nature Immunology online 2001;10.1038/ni732.

Reference Source 89


STAY CONNECTEDNewsletter | RSS | Twitter | YouTube |
This site is owned and operated by 1999-2018. All Rights Reserved. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. Please review our copyright policy for full details.
volunteerDonateWrite For Us
Stay Connected With Our Newsletter