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Frogs Could Help Defeat Bacterial Diseases

Frogs Could Help Defeat Bacterial Diseases

Researchers from United Arab Emirates recently announced results of their frog skin study, which identified over 100 antibiotic substances taken from frog skin secretions. Scientists around the world collected skin secretions from various species and sent them in for the study. The researchers believe frog skins could potentially be used to produce new antibiotics.

One of the biochemists participating in the research explained, “They’ve been around 300 million years, so they’ve had plenty of time to learn how to defend themselves against disease-causing microbes in the environment. Their own environment includes polluted waterways where strong defenses against pathogens are a must.”

The scientists so far have identified about 200 skin secretions which could be potential candidates for new antibiotics. They have secretions from 6,000 species total, which means there are still a very large number of chemicals they could find. Scientists say they take special care not to harm the frogs when their skin secretions are sampled.

A chemical found on the skins of the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog has been determined to have potential to kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, which has caused deadly infections. In 2005, there were about 18,000 deaths related to MRSA according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The only problem so far with using the Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog as a potential source of a new antibiotic, is that its population is nearly threatened and not always easy to locate. After a California river dam altered a major breeding ground for the species, its population plummeted. Researchers also suspect that pesticides are harming their population.

Frogs around the world are facing a deadly fungal epidemic which could wipe out many species. Recently it was reported thirty species in Panama were eliminated by the fungus.

Research such as this underscores how important it is to preserve biodiversity.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Read more: Health, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, , ,

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161 comments

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4:25AM PDT on Apr 26, 2012

I love frogs, as a kid I remember seeing alot more. Now that I'm an adult I wondered where did they all go. They are a delightful creature. Just hope we can still keep research going to fight this fungus that is destroying are frog population around the world.

5:03AM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Thanks for the article.

10:30PM PDT on Apr 22, 2011

I looking for and seeing the connections from the other articles!..Thankyou!...I realy want to know!!

8:03AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

Frogs rule!!

6:06PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

Once we lose them, we can never get them back. We lose the benefit's they bring to the planet. Very scary for so many species to be ending up on the extinction list.

4:55AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

Nature is amazing :D I'm so glad no frogs are harmed in these studies!

12:30PM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

I was wondering, with this new info,if the researchers would be planning to kill or experiment on all the frogs to get this antibiotic. Just a thought!!!!!

10:13AM PDT on Sep 9, 2010

Good reading, thanks.

9:19AM PDT on Sep 8, 2010

I hope humans will stop this rush to drill, dredge, over build not knowing what harm you are doing to the planet. We need frogs, plants and insects intact to save this world. There is much to be learned and much good medicine we have not found.

1:49AM PDT on Sep 6, 2010

I knew there was a reason why I liked frogs! When I was a kid, I had pet frogs. :)

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