The purpose of this essay is to explore the topic “A protein found in human breast milk could help kill drug resistant bacteria” through examining a chosen secondary review article, and comparing it with a primary research article.
The secondary review article that I have selected is “Lactoferrin: an important host defence against microbial and viral attack” written by P. Valentia,* and G. Antonini. This review investigates the role of breast milk protein lactoferrin as a host defence against microbial and viral attacks. Lactoferrin is the main protein found in human breast milk that is naturally produced by the mammary glands. Lactoferrin is actually an iron binding protein found in human breast milk that is naturally produced by the mammary glands. Aside from just being proteins, lactoferrin actually has many biological functions which includes having antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Lactoferrin was able to do this because of its ability to isolate iron, since iron aids in the growth of bacteria. Iron and Lf actually controls the movement and joining of pathogenic bacteria in mucosal secretions. While Lf itself could inhibit the growth of bacteria such as human and/or animal pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Streptococcus spp, Staphylococcus spp, and many more. The audience for the review would be people interested in science, more specifically specialized researchers or scientists that are keen to know more about the use of lactoferrin protein against pathogens and its biological functions related to host pre-immune defence system, including having bacteriostatic activity due to its ability to suppress iron. Regardless of the intended audience, the journal that I will be writing wil be written in simpler terms allowing it to be understood by BABS1201 students/audiences.
In my opinion the review article refers to multiple disciplines in science such as; biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology immunology, and pharmacology. But the one that best describes the review would be biochemistry and molecular biology, more specifically proteomics which is the study of proteins and its functions, as it is discussing about lactoferrins defence against microbial and viral attack. Biochemistry is the study of molecules and the cellular processes in which they participate in living organisms, while molecular biology is a field in biology that deals with the structure and function of the macromolecules essential to life; proteins.
The review article was taken from the multidisciplinary journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences which mainly focuses on publishing research, articles, and reviews about the latest aspects of biological and biomedical research. The journal also consider contributions focusing on biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, molecular and cellular aspects of biomedicine, neuroscience, pharmacology and immunology through reviews and contribution of multiple authors. The relationship between the journal and the discipline of biochemistry and molecular biology can be seen through the journal title of Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. While it can also be seen through the objective of the publisher which is the Springer International Publishing, as they state that they are a leading global scientific, technical and medical portfolio, providing researchers in academia and institutions with insightful and supporting information about the development of new areas of research and making ideas. Therefore i believe that the journal aims to researchers within the discipline of biochemistry and molecular biology with the the resources and information that they need to enhance their knowledge. It is also good to note that all journals published in Springer International has been peer reviewed which shows that they are at its best quality.
The primary research paper that I have chosen is “Bacteriostatic activity of human lactoferrin against Staphylococcus aureus is a function of its iron-binding properties and is not influenced by antibiotic resistance” and it investigates the link between the iron-binding properties of lactoferrin and how it helps with the bacteriostatic activity of drug resistant bacteria, specifically Staphylococcus aureus. The main role of this primary research is its indirect contribution to the review article, as the experiment conducted in the research proves the investigation of the secondary journal that Lactoferrin does have antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. The main purpose of this primary research is to investigate the efficiency of using lactoferrin as a therapeutic approach when combined with antimicrobial drugs to help counteract the increasing inefficiency of current antibiotics towards Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common surgical wound infection in the world and today there has been increasing appearance of multidrug resistant strains which led to the investigations of alternative antibiotics to help solve the problem. The aim of the research was to prove whether or not lactoferrin can actually be an alternative to antibiotics. Lactoferrin is found in the white blood cells, and it has an effect on limiting the amount of free iron available. The research hypothesized that increasing lactoferrin concentrations during bacterial infections through white blood cell inducement and recruitment in the inflammation site with the combination of other immune defence mechanism may limit microbial growth and inflammation, which is something that is increasingly can’t be done by antibiotics.
The experiment conducted examined the in vitro antistaphylococcal activity of lactoferrin and the antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates, while also testing Staphylococcus aureus against 19 antibiotics. The results of the experiment showed that most of the isolates were antibiotic resistant, while only one third of the isolates were resistant to lactoferrin. Overall, the results of the experiment suggested that lactoferrin has potential as a therapeutic agent against Staphylococcus aureus isolates regardless of their antibiotic resistance. Lactoferrin combined with other antimicrobial drugs can be used as a therapeutic approach that may help improve the increasing inefficiency of current antibiotics against bacteria.
What i found interesting was finding out that there is a protein in our body that can help kill drug resistant bacteria. I also learned that our body is capable of conducting many biological functions especially as a host defense against microbial and viral attacks. To be honest there were some aspects of the primary research that i could not fully understand due to the frequent use of scientific jargons and my lack of knowledge towards biochemistry and molecular biology. Maybe in the future i would be able to understand this topic a lot better, but for now it has helped broaden my knowledge towards the functions and benefits of some of the proteins found in our bodies.
Although the nature of the primary and secondary literature is different it is both still talking about the functions, benefits, and the role lactoferrin takes as our body’s host defense against pathogenic bacteria. Both of the primary and secondary was written formally and in a scientific way, which suggests that they were targeting similar audiences. The difference is that the primary article shows an in depth and more focused research of the effects of lactoferrin on Staphylococcus aureus bacteria by providing methodology, experiment, results, and discussions which can support the research, while the secondary literature discussed about lactoferrin on broaden terms and does not provide results based on experimental research as it is only reviewing about the topic being discussed. So, to conclude this reflective essay both the primary and secondary review are interrelated, as the primary article contributed to the review article by providing evidence that lactoferrin is definitely an important host defence against microbial and viral attacks and with further research has potential in help killing drug resistant bacteria.
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