Apr 23 2017

Antibiotics from dragon’s blood?

Published by at 2:04 pm under Antibiotics

Antibiotics from dragon’s blood?
A study involving komodo dragons may have resulted in the finding of a new antibiotic.

It sounds crazy I know, like something from a mythical tale. But sometimes we just don’t know where this magical world will take us. Enter the dragon. The Komodo dragon to be exact. Scientists from George Mason University in Virginia recently isolated a molecule in the blood of a Komodo dragon which appears to have powerful germ-killing, antimicrobial abilities. This particular protein promoted healing in infected wounds of mice and is now thought that it could be a future antibiotic. 1*

The race to find new antibiotics has taken on greater urgency in recent years as more and more bacteria are becoming resistant to the existing arsenal of antibiotic drugs on the market. “Scientists believe this could be a step forward in the quest to find new antibiotics that are needed to fight multidrug-resistant pathogens…” If new antibiotics are not discovered, a global health crisis could be eminent. “…In February, the World Health Organization ranked the most dangerous superbugs, calling for new tools against them. According to the World Health Organization, drug-resistant infections kill 700,000 people each year. One study has suggested antibiotic resistance will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide – more than currently die from cancer – by 2050 unless action is taken…” (1,2,3)*

Komodo dragons live in Indonesia and can be found on five different islands. They have as many as 80 bacterial strains in their mouths some of which cause blood poisoning and sepsis. Interestingly though, these dragons seem to be immune to these otherwise harmful bacteria. In fact, crocodilians and monitor lizards along with the dragon can survive grave wounds, even lost limbs in filthy environments and they don’t get infected.1*

The team developed a synthetic form of this particular protein and called it DRGN-1. They found that it was effective against two “superbugs” known as pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, both of which are stubborn and difficult to treat. Both “…have bacteria that “stick together to form colonies (or biofilms) that are much more resistant to antibiotics than a single bacterium…” The study suggests that DRGN-1 “…assists wound healing both through antimicrobial activity and also by promoting the migration of skin cells to close the wound…”(1,2)*

This study, which was published in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes and funded by the military’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency, revealed that DRGN-1 had three “valuable properties” for healing wounds. It put holes in “…the outer membranes of both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, dissolved the biofilms that glue bacteria together, and it sped skin healing…” It has only been tested on mice to this point, and only on these two forms of bacteria, but scientists believe that the possibility is very good that additional studies could lead to the development of a topical antibiotic for infected wounds…” (1,2,3)*

As a side note, Komodo dragons are an endangered species and are considered ‘divine’ in their native Indonesia. For these reasons, those in charge of the experiment had to locate a komodo dragon that lived in a zoo. A 100-pound male named Tujah was located at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park in Florida.  Under the care of keepers kept the dragon distracted, they were able to draw four tablespoons of blood from his tail without anesthesia.

This study shines light on the current situation we are in with antibiotic resistance and superbugs. This global health crisis is being fought on many levels as scientists race to discover new antibiotics from varying corners of our world. As a reminder, only take antibiotics as necessary, and keep your immune system strong and your gut healthy. Eat healthy, take your Body Bioticsâ„¢ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortiaâ„¢ daily, and stay tuned on this interesting development!

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 

www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39554531
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/17/health/komodo-dragon-blood-antibiotics.html?_r=0
  3. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-38977259

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