Killing Microbes Without Antibiotics

| 8/31/2016 9:48:00 AM


When it comes to infectious pathogens, antibiotics are considered the first and most efficient line of defence. While resistant bacterial strains are becoming more and more common and dangerous, we have learned to rely entirely on synthetic or natural formulations to protect human health. Commercial products, like toothpastes, soaps and household cleaners are also loaded with antimicrobial compounds in an effort to prevent microbes from thriving.

But what if there are simple and practically free ways to maintain health and prevent disease? Decades-old research proves that some of the most dangerous pathogenic culprits hardly need sophisticated ways to be controlled.

Experiments conducted in the midst of cold war showed that pathogenic bacteria cannot survive if exposed unprotected in fresh air. Microbiologists Hendry Druett and K.R. May found out that within 2 hours the vast majority of E. coli colonies were dead, after being exposed to air currents outside of their lab.

Conversely, if the same bacteria were kept confined in boxes at identical temperature and humidity conditions, but still outside of the lab, more than 50 percent of them survived.

When the cold war threats faded away, so did these remarkable experiments, or at least so we are told. Florence Nightingale, the famous British nurse, reportedly slashed hospital death rates by applying simple methods, such as throwing the windows open. Her principles regarding appropriate arrangement in hospital wards, led to the Nightingale wards. These long and narrow rooms had windows reaching up to the ceiling, allowing fresh air to circulate freely.

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