A Livestock Drug Delivered Via Nanoparticles May Help Eradicate Acne


Narasin is commonly used for bacterial infections in livestock but has never been previously investigated as a viable treatment for acne.

Australian scientists may have found an effective treatment for acne that is delivered via tiny nanoparticles.

In a study led by the University of South Australia (UniSA), a new antibacterial compound known as Narasin was encased in tiny, soft nanoparticles 1,000 times smaller than a single strand of human hair and applied in a gel form to targeted acne sites.

The drug – more commonly used in the livestock industry – proved successful against drug-resistant acne bacteria. When delivered via nanocarriers, the drug achieved a 100-fold increase in absorption than simply taken with water.

The findings appear in Nanoscale.

“Although there are many oral medications prescribed for acne, they have a range of detrimental side effects, and many are poorly water soluble, which is why most patients and clinicians prefer topical treatments,” says lead author UniSA PhD student Fatima Abid.

Abid’s supervisor, pharmaceutical scientist Professor Sanjay Garg, adds that a combination of increasing antibiotic resistance and the ineffectiveness of many topical drugs to penetrate hair follicles in acne sites means there is a pressing need to develop new antibacterial therapies that are effective and safe.

Abid, Prof Garg and researchers from UniSA, the University of Adelaide, and Aix-Marseille Université in France also investigated how well Narasin encased in nanoparticles penetrated various layers of skin, using pig’s ear skin as a model.

“The micelle formulation was effective in delivering Narasin to acne targets sites, as opposed to the compound solution which failed to permeate through skin layers,” Garg says.

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