A scientist from the University of Cincinnati (UC) has developed an environment friendly technology to kill outbreak causing viruses and bacteria from public drinking water, according to reports.
Environmental and biomedical engineer David Wendell, who is also associate professor in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a protein-based catalyst that uses light to generate hydrogen peroxide to remove a host of viruses and bacteria from drinking water.
If produced for commercial use, the protein, called StrepMiniSog, could be safely used to clean up water supply in the case of an outbreak.
“We designed this protein to attach to pathogens of interest using antibodies, so that when the attached photocatalyst is exposed to light it generates hydrogen peroxide and kills the pathogen,” Wendell explained.
He adds: “In the environment or engineered water treatment systems there are many bacteria that you want to preserve. We need a disinfectant that can ignore helpful bacteria while neutralizing pathogens responsible for sporadic outbreaks. It is essentially a seek-and-destroy technology where it will only attach to the organisms of interest. By using a selective approach we can preserve existing microbiomes, which makes them more resistance to opportunistic pathogens.”
Because the protein only targets harmful pathogens, Wendell said it could also have applications in personal disinfection.
“The technology is also very useful for any sort of surface disinfection, including treating human skin,” Wendell added.