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Antibacterial Clay Therapy

Antibacterial Clay Therapy

Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern requiring innovative and lateral approaches to combat the threat to human health. New antimicrobial agents and materials are urgently needed to tackle increasingly drug resistant pathogens.

Project leader

Anke Neumann

Dates

9/2019-12/2019

Sponsors

 

Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University

 

Partners

Durham University

Description

Antimicrobial resistance is a global concern requiring innovative and lateral approaches to combat the threat to human health. New antimicrobial agents and materials are urgently needed to tackle increasingly drug resistant pathogens. For centuries, clay minerals have been employed in traditional medicine, either topically or by ingestion.

Recent studies have verified that clays do possess unique antibacterial properties that offer considerable health benefits. The approach to this project aims to merge empirical studies on the constituents and antibacterial properties of therapeutic clays, while also considering political, social and cultural contexts that may inform future medical applications.

As a starting point, we will evaluate clay from the Baku region of Azerbijan as an antibacterial agent with potential for the treatment of wound infections. The structure and composition of this clay will be specifically defined and its antibacterial efficacy assessed against representative bacterial species.

As an integral part of the project, we will commence a broader, humanities-driven approach to investigate the poorly characterised usage of clays in the treatment of infections. There are many questions surrounding the different ways that clays are harnessed as therapies, for what types of infection and in what kinds of social interactions.