BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Annually, upward of a half-million people suffer from septic infections that require aggressive and intensive treatment and cost the economy $10 billion directly and indirectly. Looking to make a dent in these statistics, researchers at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center and the Polytechnic University have been exploring the use of sophorolipids to treat the condition. Glycolipids produced by Candida bombicola, sophorolipids been found to exhibit antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
As described in the Journal of Surgical Research, the Brooklyn researchers examined the efficacy of sophorolipids and specific derivatives in a rat model of sepsis. They found that at relatively low doses, both single and multiple sophorolipid doses had a significant impact on improving rat survival. They speculate that improved survival may be mediated by the antibacterial properties of the sophorolipids, but this concept was not test directly in this study.