Frog slime for the fight against flu viruses
In order not to become infected with flu, it is usually recommended to keep away from infected people and to strengthen your own immune system. There are now indications that substances from the animal kingdom can also help prevent infections with influenza viruses. According to researchers, there is an active ingredient against influenza viruses in the mucus of a certain type of frog.
Frog slime against influenza
Runny nose, fever, hoarseness: Those who have the flu must be careful and use traditional home remedies. It would be better to protect yourself against infection from the outset. A vaccine is available for this. However, there is controversy among the population as to whether such a vaccination makes sense. In the future, a substance from the animal kingdom could also help here. Because according to researchers, there is an active ingredient against flu viruses in the mucus of a certain type of frog.
Helpful substances from the animal kingdom
In recent years, scientists have repeatedly reported surprising findings that show how important substances from the animal kingdom could become for humans. For example, researchers from Austria found that so-called tick cement could cement human tissue.
And snails also produce a natural adhesive that could be used in medicine, wound healing and cosmetics.
Also impressive was a message from Australian scientists who found that Tasmanian devil milk works against multi-resistant super-germs.
Researchers at the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta (USA) and the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology in India are now reporting a discovery that could have an even greater impact on medicine.
The scientists found evidence that antibodies from a certain type of frog could help in the fight against influenza viruses.
The substance does not work against the currently circulating flu viruses
As the experts in the journal “Cell Press” report, when examining the mucus on the skin of the frog Hydrophylax bahuvistara, which is native to southern India, they found that it can kill influenza viruses of the H1 strain. These are also common in humans.
The researchers called this antiviral peptide, which is responsible for the effect, "urumin". This name comes from the particularly flexible sword Urumi used in Indian martial arts.
According to the experts, urumin - administered through the nose - was able to protect non-vaccinated mice from a lethal dose of various flu viruses. According to the information, it was shown that the defense against strains of influenza viruses of the H1 type, but not against other currently circulating, such as the H3N2.
Not a drug yet
The peptide is far from being used as an antiviral drug. Nevertheless, Joshy Jacob from Emory University admitted in a press release: "I almost fell off my chair."
“At first, I thought that in drug research, you would have to fight through thousands of drug candidates, sometimes even a million, before you got a hit or two,” said the researcher.
But after only 32 peptides were examined, the scientists had four hits. While three of them also attacked human cells, urumin only acted against the flu virus.
Her result is the first indication of its potential in the fight against influenza viruses. (ad)