The 240th Congress of the American Chemical Society, held in Boston, a group of scientists led by Michael Conlon of the University of the UAE made a presentation about how frogs can become “allies” in mankind’s struggle with infections resistant to antibiotics. Examining more than 6000 different kinds of frogs, scientists found in their skin almost two hundred different antibiotic substances.
The story of his study Conlon began by saying that the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria in recent years becomes a global challenge for the world.
Therefore, patients need new kinds of antibiotics, which will replace the “broken” drug.
An excellent source of such antibiotics could become skin of frogs. “Frogs have been around for about 300 million years, and this time is quite enough to learn how to protect you from germs in the environment – said Conlon. – The more that their own habitat often is contaminated water and therefore they must somehow defend themselves against pathogens.
Scientists already tried to allocate from the skin of frogs chemicals that can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
But the success they have achieved, because these substances are very toxic to humans and can easily destroy some important chemicals in the blood.
Conlon and colleagues were able to solve this problem. They managed to find some means to influence the molecular structure of antibiotic substances in the skin of frogs. As a result of these impacts frog antibiotics not only are less toxic to humans, but also more effectively fight the bacteria.
In particular, one of the substances successfully fights the bacterium Iraqibacter, which is responsible for drug-resistant infection, found in large numbers of soldiers wounded in Iraq. Also as a prominent example, scientists have Zheltonogov frog, which was widely distributed in the U.S. states of California and Oregon, but now is on the verge of extinction. It was found that the skin of the frog provides a substance which effectively kills metrically staphylococcus (MRSA). This bacterium causes a person is difficult curable blood disease and various types of pneumonia.
It is with this bacterium accounts for the majority of nosocomial infections, which also happen in kindergartens, schools and nursing homes, where the human health standards.
The hospitals are at greatest risk of infection by this staphylococci exposed patients with open wounds and weakened immune system, and the hospital staff or visitors who do not comply with sanitary rules, spread the infection from one patient to another, and also spread the bacteria through the dining room, restrooms, elevators and other common areas.
Conlon believes that the number of antibiotic substances obtained from the skin of frogs, will clinical trials in the next five years. In case of success (in which scientists do not doubt), pharmaceutical companies may begin to develop a broad creams, ointments and indictable for the treatment of infections.
“Our work is important because demonstrates the importance of biodiversity on the planet.
Because many species of frogs, which potentially contain valuable medicinal substance throughout the world are threatened with extinction due to loss of habitat area, strong water contamination and similar problems – said Conlon.
In addition, in its report a scientist said that he and his colleagues used exclusively for the frogs to get samples of the chemical structure of antibiotics. “We make sure not to damage these delicate creatures and bring them back into the wild after taking samples of skin with precious secretions”, – said Conlon.