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What is Urease?

Urease is a bacterial enzyme which catalyses the conversion of urea and waterto ammonia and carbon dioxide, which can be summarised by the equation below:

Why do bacteria have urease enzymes?

Urease is a virulence factor, meaning it helps bacteria invade hosts, colonise their environment and evade host defence mechanisms (usually the immune system). For more in-depth reading, this paper gives an excellent overview.

How is watercress involved here?

We have found that our Watercress Tonic has urease inhibiting properties.

We know that some plants inhibit (obstruct) urease better than others, however there is more research to be done on why this is. We think that in watercress, this may be to control bacteria which have urease enzymes to make the most of using nitrogen in its environment to make protein for growth.

Examples where urease is involved in disease?