Bacteria killer found in sweatBMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7323.1206c (Published 24 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1206
- Deborah Josefson
- San Francisco
Human sweat is capable of warding off more than potential friends and lovers.
Researchers at Eberhard-Karls University in Tübingen, Germany, have isolated a new antibiotic, dubbed dermcidin, which is secreted in sweat and may serve as a first line of defence against microbial pathogens.
Dermcidin's structure differs from known antibiotics and may kill micro-organisms by a different mechanism. The work has been published in the online edition of Nature Immunology (www.nature.com/ni) in advance of the print edition.
Dr Birgit Schittek and her colleagues from the university's departments of oncological dermatology, immunology, molecular biology, and genetics stumbled serendipitously on the dermcidin gene while screening DNA libraries from melanoma and naevus cell …