Banishing Bacteria: A unique approach for the management of skin diseases (Sponsored by Virbac Animal Health)

Banishing Bacteria: A unique approach for the management of skin diseases (Sponsored by Virbac Animal Health)

Mar 01, 2008
By staff

It's no secret that veterinarians encounter patients with skin problems on a daily basis.

Spherulite technology
The majority of common dermatologic conditions—infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus intermedius, and Malassezia pachydermatis as well as inflammation—all start with the adherence of pathogens to the skin.

Figure 1. Anti-adhesive action
The real revelation is the new topical therapy proven to work with the skin's natural defense mechanisms, preventing bacteria from adhering to the skin and thereby reducing infections and inflammation. Using a combination of tested sugars (carbohydrates), this anti-adhesive technology reduces pathogen adherence to the skin by more than 50% and decreases inflammation by 75% (see Research findings),1-5 a boon to veterinarians facing perplexing skin issues with their patients.


Table 1. Research findings
Like all cells, the keratinocytes of the epidermis have glycoproteins that are essential in cell-to-cell communication. However, these glycoproteins also serve as magnets to external pathogens (i.e., Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas) through lectin binding. Microbial lectins are virulence factors located on the surface of the pathogen. Once these pathogens attach their microbial lectins to the skin glycoproteins, they can colonize and cause infection. Attached pathogens can also activate keratinocytes to produce cytokines, such as TNF-α, which cause inflammation.

Exogenous sugars
Glycotechnology works by applying exogenous sugars (D-mannose, D-galactose, L-rhamnose, Alkylpolyglucoside) that mimic the skin sugars in glycoproteins. These exogenous sugars produce an anti-adhesive effect between the skin sugars and pathogens. Because these exogenous sugars mimic and bind to the skin sugars, they attract and have initial contact with the pathogens' lectins. This initial contact causes the lectin binding sites to become saturated with exogenous sugars—not skin sugars—and, therefore, helps prevent infection and, thus, inflammation.

An added benefit

Key points
Traditional methods of managing skin conditions include the administration of antibiotics, antiseptics, and systemic steroids, either oral or injectable. However, the long-term use of these drugs can lead to antibiotic resistance or immunosuppression. Glycotechnology offers practitioners an effective alternative without these drawbacks of traditional therapy.

For more information about products with Glycotechnology, please visit