Weak Electric Currents Would Aid in Fighting Superbugs

A new study published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal has shown that electricity would eliminate bacteria. The findings might have long-term implications for fighting “superbugs.”

Since the 60s, scientists have found out that electrical currents would restrict or kill bacteria. Nevertheless, the growing threat of superbugs that can resist antibiotics has encouraged researchers to look for new methods to decrease bacterial transmission.

Most studies in previous decades focused on electric fields or large currents. However, it is still unknown how electricity would kill the bacteria and whether low currents would have the same effects.

The published study is conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Arkansas. It has suggested that electrical currents of fewer than 100 microamps would eliminate bacteria in 30 minutes.

More specifically, the electricity is able to affect the membranes of the bacteria, which enables irons, proteins, and other components to leak out and into the cells.

A voltage of fewer than 1.5 volts was sufficient to generate the needed current. This means a household battery or a small solar panel would be suitable for this purpose.

The results suggest that electricity would be a good way to sterilize objects constantly. Doorknobs or frequently touched areas can be benefited from this application. More importantly, the currents are small and will not do harms to humans.

Another application is to prevent tough bacterial surfaces, biofilms, or colonies from forming in purification or water storage facilities.

In this study, scientists used the bacterium Escherichia coli.

Various techniques were used to compare different states of bacteria when the voltage was on and off.

The findings show that irons and other components like amino acids would lead out and into the cells.

Another method known as a filtration assay indicated that even large components like nucleic acids and proteins would lead from these cells after membranes were damaged by electric currents.

Scientists believe that the electrical currents would change the normal voltage and affect the membrane.

The study concludes that treating bacteria with electric current at fewer than 100 microamps in 30 minutes would lead to considerable damage to the membranes. It also resulted in 2-way leakages of proteins, small components, and irons.

It is important to note that the electric power causing serious damage to the membrane of bacteria is extremely low, which is expected to allow for the application of low electric voltages in antimicrobial treatments.

Source: https://aem.asm.org/content/86/16/e01015-20

Related Articles

15 Most Common Forms of Phobia

Ailments & Conditions
Are you terrified of the sliding serpents? Do you feel scared of scary crawlies? Well, you aren't alone because phobias are among the most...

8 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments You Should Be Aware of

Your Health
Are you feeling the numbness or tingling in your wrist or hand for months? Then you might be facing the carpal tunnel syndrome, a...

Causes of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Ailments & Conditions
Spinal muscular atrophy is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. This rare genetic disease is often triggered by mutations or alterations in the genes that produce...

Bronchiectasis Symptoms & Treatments You Need to Know

Ailments & Conditions
Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition in which the bronchial tubes of the lungs are permanently widened, thickened, and damaged. These tubes are branches between...

Main Causes of Narcolepsy

Ailments & Conditions
Narcolepsy is a persistent sleep disorder. People with this condition often experience a sudden attack of sleep and overwhelming daytime drowsiness during the day....

Dry Cough – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

Your Health
A dry cough, also known as non-productive cough, does not produce mucus or phlegm as wet or productive cough. It is a reflex action...

Strong Muscles Might Boost Immune System

Health News
A recent study in mice has suggested that strong skeletal muscles might help improve the immune system performance. This is especially important in people...

10 Common Blood Clot Leg (Deep Vein Thrombosis) Symptoms

Ailments & Conditions
Clotting is an important process which could prevent your body from losing too much blood when you are cut or injured. However, when it...