20 Jan

Lysozyme

Antibacterial agents normally destroy bacteria by breaking down the cell wall of bacterial cells.  Humans are born with the naturally occuring enzyme known as lysozyme.  Lysozyme is found in most bodily fluids such as saliva and tears.  Lysozyme breaks down the 1-4 linkage between the amino sugar molecules in peptidoglycan causing breaks in the lattice and weakening the cell wall.  The breakdown of the cell wall normally results in cell death.  Our tears contain lysozyme which benefits us because the lysozyme kills bacterial that may cause infections.  Our tears act as natural cleaning agents against bacteria.  The egg white of hen’s eggs also contains lysozyme where it may protect the developing embryo from an infection.  Gram negative bacteria have an outer membrane sourrounding the cell wall which makes them more resistant to lysozyme.