Sewage sludge is source of cholesterol-degrading bacteria

Cholesterol-degrading bacteria has been isolated from sewage sludge by scientists in Spain. By Lauren Trisk.

The unique property of Gordon cholesterolivorans was confirmed by a screening experiment which used cholesterol as the bacterium’s sole energy source.

Lead researcher Dr Oliver Drzyzga said that he and his team hoped to develop strains of G. cholesterolivorans which broke cholesterol down more rapidly and effectively.

He said the findings could be used to develop new medicines and treatments.

However, he warned:  ‘As some Gordonia species are pathogenic to humans it is unlikely that they could be used directly to treat high cholesterol-related conditions in humans.’

gpletters@haymarket.com

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