Researchers Call for Use of Metals in Fighting Infections

More than one billion individuals usually contract fungal infections globally. While most are harmless, more than 1.5 million people die annually because of fungal infections.

A team of scientists from the University of Queensland and the University of Bern, among other institutions, have shown that more than 20 highly active metal compounds, which contain gold, molybdenum, platinum, iridium, cobalt, europium, silver, nickel, palladium and rhodium, can be used in the treatment of fungal infections. The team of researchers was led by Dr. Angelo Frei. The scientists’ objective was to investigate the use of metals in the development of new treatments for fungal infections.

As more fungal strains develop resistance against currently used medications, new drug development for these infections remains at a standstill. This is despite the fact that metal complexes have demonstrated promise as new antibiotics.

In a media statement, Frei stated that while the belief that metals were harmful to humans was widespread, it wasn’t completely true. He explained that the determining factor was what metal was used and in what form, noting that most of the metal compounds the team tested in his laboratory showed good activity against a range of fungal strains.

Frei added that the researchers also found that these compounds were 30,000 times more active against fungi than against cells from the human body. In addition to this, he revealed that 11 of the most-active metal compounds were tested in the larvae of the Galleria mellonella, commonly called the wax moth. The larvae was used as the study’s model organism, with the researchers observing that while 10 of the compounds were well-tolerated by the larvae, one demonstrated signs of toxicity.

The researchers also tested some of the compounds in an infection model, observing that one compound effectively decreased the fungal infection in the larvae. The compound in question is the organo-Pt (II) cyclooctadience complex Pt1.

In the report, Frei maintained that the researchers hoped that their work would help motivate other research teams to further look into this vast but relatively unexplored field, while also improving metals’ reputation in medical applications. He noted that it was possible to prevent a future where there were no effective active agents and antibiotics that could prevent as well as treat fungal infections, but only if the full potential of the periodic table was exploited.

The researchers published their findings, which show that the chemical and structural diversity of metal-based compounds may help develop new drugs against infections, in the “JACS Au” journal.

As more industrial and medical uses of metals researchers gold and silver are found, the outlook of mining companies such as Eloro Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: ELO) (OTCQX: ELRRF) is likely to remain positive for decades to come despite the periodic volatility seen in commodities markets.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Eloro Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: ELO) (OTCQX: ELRRF) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/ELRRF

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