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lysozyme ly·so·zyme (lī'sə-zīm')
An enzyme occurring naturally in egg white, human tears, saliva, and other body fluids, capable of destroying the cell walls of certain bacteria and thereby acting as a mild antiseptic. Also called muramidase.
enzyme found in the secretions (tears) of the lacrimal glands of animals and in nasal mucus, gastric secretions, and egg white. Discovered in 1921 by Sir Alexander Fleming, lysozyme catalyzes the breakdown of certain carbohydrates found in the cell walls of certain bacteria (e.g., cocci). It thus functions, in the case of lacrimal fluid, to protect the cornea of the eye from infection.