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Spray with marine enzyme to decongest sinusitis

Posted on Feb 19, 06:57PM | IANS

London, Feb 19 : A new nasal spray from a marine microbe will help clear chronic sinusitis, which causes nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, pain and swelling around your eyes and cheeks.

A team of scientists and surgeons from Newcastle University are developing the spray with an enzyme isolated from a marine bug Bacillus licheniformis, found on the surface of seaweed.

Lab experiments showed that the enzyme, called NucB, dispersed 58 percent of biofilms in chronic sinusitis formed by the marine bug. The biofilm acts as a slimy barrier to protect bugs from sprays or antibiotics, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reports.

Nicholas Jakubovics of Newcastle, said: "In effect, the enzyme breaks down the extracellular DNA, which is acting like a glue to hold the cells to the surface of the sinuses. In the lab, NucB cleared over half of the organisms we tested."

Mohamed Reda Elbadawey, consultant, otolaryngology head and neck surgery, Freeman Hospital, was prompted to contact Newcastle researchers after a student patient mentioned a lecture on the discovery of NucB and they are now working together to explore its medical potential, according to a Newcastle statement.

Elbadawey said: "While steroid nasal sprays and antibiotics can help some people, for the patients I see, they have not been effective. If we can develop an alternative we could benefit thousands of patients a year."