‘Odorous frogs’ are reservoir of antibiotic substancesPublished On: Thu, Dec 1st, 2011 | Proteomics | By BioNews
Odorous frogs’ are a rich source of greatest known variety of anti-bacterial substances, which may provide new weapons in the fight against antibiotic-resistant infections, a new study has revealed.
Yun Zhang, Wen-Hui Lee and Xinwang Yang’s research on amphibians so smelly (like rotten fish, for instance) that scientists term them ‘odorous frogs’ explain that the researchers have long recognized frogs’ skin as a treasure trove of new antibiotics.
Frogs live in warm, wet places where bacteria thrive and have adapted skin that secretes chemicals, known as peptides, to protect themselves from infections.
Zhang’s group wanted to identify the specific antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and the most potent to give scientists clues for developing new antibiotics.
They identified more than 700 of these substances from nine species of odorous frogs and concluded that the AMPs account for almost one-third of all AMPs found in the world, the greatest known diversity of these germ-killing chemicals.
Interestingly, some of the AMPs have a dual action, killing bacteria directly and also activating the immune system to assist in the battle.
The study has been published in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research.