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NORWICH, England - Scientists in the United Kingdom have discovered a method of destroying dangerous food poisoning bacteria using an agent found in viruses, just-food.com reports.
According to the team working on the project, which includes such members as Prof. Mike Gasson of the Institute of Food Research; Profos, an international company specializing in bacterial viruses and antimicrobial agents; and PBL, a firm that handles technology transfer, the concept of using a virus agent in food safety is being converted into practical technology.
"Viruses can infect bacteria as well as humans. A virus invades bacterial cells, multiplies, and then produces an enzyme to burst the cell wall, enabling it to escape and infect more cells," Gasson said. "We targeted an enzyme with this firepower, to develop its potential in combating pathogenic bacteria."
In a move toward commercial application of the discovery, the technology has been awarded a worldwide license.