Cold War Antiseptic Could Lead The Fight Against Multidrug Resistant Microorganisms

What is Miramistin?

Miramistin is an antiseptic drug with anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and immunoadjuvant functions. It was developed during the 1980s as part of large-scale scientific research on the search for an antiseptic that could be used by astronauts from the Russian Space Biotechnology Program. The drug was officially registered when the cold war ended in 1991. Despite being extensively researched in the Soviet Union, the drug is rarely used or researched in the United States.Miramistin

Why is it so potent against drug-resistant germs and viruses?

Miramistin is composed of ammonium cations whose antiseptic effect is widely known. It is like a detergent that can destroy microorganisms by interacting with their membranes. It has been found to be particularly effective against nosocomial bacterias that are antibiotic-resistant. It has a bactericidal effect against both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. In addition to its bactericidal activity, it has been found to possess antifungal actions also against Aspergillus, Candida, and other dermatophytes. It also possesses antiviral properties against HIV, Herpes, and other complex viruses. It also acts on pathogens that are known to cause sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

Apart from its antiseptic effects, it has also demonstrated immunoadjuvant effects by stimulating the immune system via activation of the lytic functions of phagocytes. Its hyperosmolar effect minimizes wound inflammation by absorbing the capillary exudates and accelerating scab formation. When this drug is applied on the skin and mucous membrane, it doesn’t get absorbed thereby making it harmless for human cells.

Russian researchers have conducted numerous clinical trials spanning several decades that have shown the multitude of antiseptic actions of Miramistin.

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What can Miramistin be used for?

Its applications are as wide and varied as its activity. It can be used in all fields of medicine such as trauma, surgery, dermatology, dentistry, otorhinolaryngology, urology, venerology, and pulmonology.

Is it safe to use?

Miramastin comes in the form of a clear transparent liquid that is applied topically at a concentration of 0.01%. It is significantly less toxic than other antiseptics such as cycloheximide and cetylpyridinium chloride. It is also environment friendly as it is 88-93% biodegradable. It’s zero rate of absorption even when applied topically makes it safe even for use during pregnancy.

Researchers from the University Of Manchester speculate on Miramistin’s potential

With all of its properties, Miramistin recently drew the attention of researchers from the University of Manchester who now believe it could have a huge potential in beating many common infections.

“Conventional antiseptics contaminate the environment because they are toxic to microbiota, fish, algae, and plants,” said Professor David Denning from the University of Manchester, who was on the research team. “These are widely available but problematic, whereas Miramistin has no genotoxic effects after it has been broken down.”

The researchers believe overlooking Miramistin has limited the West from taking advantage of its environment-friendly medical application. With increasing antibiotic resistance, antiseptics are the frontier in the fight against resistant germs. But as the currently available antiseptics are flawed due to their toxicity, Miramistin deserves a closer look.

References

The antiseptic Miramistin: a review of its comparative in vitro and clinical activity

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