Volcanic clay may have the capability to kill deadly bacteria or super bugs, which are resistant to antibiotics, researchers have found.
Lynda Williams of the Arizona State University and her colleague Shelley Haydel found that agricur - the volcano clay found in the Massif Central mountain range in France - also kills other deadly bacteria, including salmonella and a flesh-eating disease called buruli, similar to leprosy.
The researchers testing the mud found it could kill up to 99 per cent of colonies of bugs such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and E coli within 24 hours.
MRSA is a type of common bacteria that normally lives on the skin and is resistant to certain antibiotics.
The virus can cause infection entering the skin through a cut or sore. The bacteria also move inside the body through a catheter or breathing tube and cause infection inside the body.
The researchers who studied agricur and other clays will present their findings at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Denver on Tuesday, the online edition of Daily Mail reported.
The scientists believe their findings may lead to the development of a class of antibiotics to which super bugs have no resistance.