Frog snot gives hope for flu cure

Researchers use frog mucus to fight the flu

Researchers use frog mucus to fight the flu

That's right, a compound in the skin secretions of the South Indian Frog may be able to kill the flu!

Frogs are known to secrete a wide range of defensive peptides from their skin that protect against bacterial infection.

Frog mucus is loaded with molecules that kill bacteria and viruses, and researchers are beginning to investigate it as a potential source for new anti-microbial drugs. According to a new study, the mucus of one particular frog can even destroy some of the most common strains of flu in humans. The finding, scheduled for publication in Immunity, suggests that the peptides represent a resource for antiviral drug discovery as well.

The fourth - urumin - was safe and killed flu viruses.

The other anti-flu frog peptides proved toxic to human red blood cells.

The peptide works by binding to the hemagglutinin, destabilizes the virus and then kills it. Then again, H1 strains are two of the three strains commonly found in humans, and H1N1 caused the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. This specificity could be valuable because current anti-influenza drugs target other parts of the virus, Jacob says.

In lab tests, scientists found a small dose of urumin, delivered through the nose, protected unvaccinated mice against several flu strains. The scientists are also searching for more frog-derived peptides that are active against other viruses, such as dengue and Zika. Hemagglutinin, in the flu, binds the flu virus to a cell and helps it insert the viral genome into your body.

Emory co-authors include senior research associate Ali Ellebedy, PhD and assistant professors Jens Wrammert, PhD and Anice Lowen, PhD.

Scientists at Emory University named the beneficial element "urumin", which can be isolated, after the a sword with a flexible blade that snaps and bends like a whip, which comes from the same Indian province.

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