A particular peptide present in saliva but also in tear fluid (tears), in white blood cells or on the skin has an antibacterial effect . Now an international research team has investigated the peptide’s mechanism of action and found that it also works against antibiotic-resistant germs. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise worldwide [¹].
US scientists have developed a technique that identifies lytic enzymes in tears and saliva , which could be used as antibiotics to kill resistant bacteria. Lytic enzymes, proteins found naturally in certain viruses, can be obtained in tears and in bodily fluids such as mucus and saliva.
Tears can act as antibiotics
In 1923, Alexander Fleming discovered lysozyme while seeking a treatment for the gas gangrene that affected combatant soldiers; It is said that mucus from a sneeze accidentally fell onto a Petri dish where a bacterial culture grew; days later the bacteria housed there had been destroyed. Joshua Weitz, co-author of the study, in the journal Physical Biology, points out: “The antibiotic activity of lytic enzymes has been known for decades, but the study of their therapeutic use is recent.”
The challenge for researchers has been to identify the enzymes that are the best ‘pathogen killers’, for this reason they have developed a method that allows the characterization and quantification of how these enzymes kill bacteria at a microscopic level. This study proposes that enzymes that can act as antibiotics attack a very specific type of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is fatal for microbes due to the high internal pressure generated without altering the ‘good bacteria’, which live with the human being.
Crying serves two broad categories of functions. The intra-individual functions of crying (eg Breuer and Freud, 1895/1955 ) refer to the effects that crying has on the crying individual.
These intra-individual functions are predominantly related to stress reduction and the experience of improved mood and relief that follows crying, which makes them important to the concept of self-calming.