The poisonous wasp venom that could protect humans from superbugs
- Polybia paulista is an aggressive wasp endemic in southeastern Brazil.
- The MIT researchers investigated the antimicrobial properties of a toxin
- created variants that are potent against bacteria but non-toxic to human cells
Select Prigg for Dailymail.com
Poisonous wasp venom could lead to radical drug medications that kill antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Researchers at MIT studied the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp, but not toxic to human cells.
In a mouse study, the researchers found that their strongest peptide, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a strain of bacteria that causes respiratory infections and other infections, can be completely eliminated and resistant to most antibiotics.
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Researchers at MIT studied the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp and created variants that are active against bacteria but non-toxic to human cells. Polybia paulista is an aggressive social wasp that is endemic to southeastern Brazil.
THE "AGGRESSIVE" WASP THAT COULD HAVE SUPERBUGS
Polybia paulista is an aggressive endemic social wasp in southeastern Brazil in its painful sting could be made a good use.
It contains an important toxin called MP1, with which the insect attacks prey or defends itself.
A recent study on mice suggests that it can attack and destroy cancer cells Today's study shows that it could also fight superbugs.
"We have turned a toxic molecule into a molecule that is an effective molecule for treating infections," says Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez, a postdoctoral fellow at MIT the journal Nature Communications Biology.
"By systematically analyzing the structure and function of these peptides, we were able to adjust their properties and activities."
The poison of insects like wasps and bees is full of compounds that can kill bacteria.
19659009] Unfortunately, many of these compounds are also toxic to humans, so they can not be used as antibiotics.
Many organisms, including humans, produce peptides within their immune system that can kill bacteria.
To combat the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, many scientists have attempted to adapt these peptides as potential new drugs.
The peptide on which de la Fuente-Nunez and his colleagues focused in this study was isolated from a wasp known as Polybia paulista.
The team selected the most promising substances for the test in mice infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common animal source of respiratory and urinary tract infections, and found that several of the peptides can reduce the infection.
One of them given in a high dose could completely eliminate it.
"After four days, this compound can completely clear the infection, and that was quite surprising and exciting because we do not normally see it with other experimental antimicrobials or other antibiotics that we have in the past with this particular mouse have tested model, "says de la Fuente-Nunez.
De la Fuente-Nunez is one of the leading authors of the newspaper, which appears in the December 7 issue of. Timothy Lu, an MIT professor of electrical and computer engineering and biotechnology, and Vani Oliveira, an adjunct professor at the Federal University of ABC in Brazil, are also senior authors. The main author of the newspaper is Marcelo Der Torossian Torres, a former guest student at MIT.