LivingDozens of new natural antibiotics found inside the human...

Dozens of new natural antibiotics found inside the human body

One of the potential threats that the human species will soon face is bacteria resistant to antibiotics. To strengthen our defenses, scientists have been on the hunt for new drugs from a wide variety of sources, such as green tea, tobacco flowers, human breast milk, rattlesnake venom, frog skin, mushrooms, or even milk. platypus.


Last line of human defense, in check

In this study, the researchers were looking for new antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the human body. The team began by scanning the proteome for peptides with properties common to all AMPs: 8 to 50 amino acids in length, positively charged, and containing both hydrophobic and hydrophilic residues. The search returned 2,603 results that, curiously, weren’t related to the immune system, and the team called them “encrypted peptides.”

Of all of them, they selected 55 that tested against eight pathogenic bacteria , including E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus (which can cause meningitis or pneumonia, among other diseases).

“We discovered that 63.6% of these 55 encrypted peptides showed antimicrobial activity,” says César de la Fuente, principal investigator of the study. “Interestingly, these peptides not only fought infection from some of the most harmful bacteria in the world, but also targeted commensal organisms in the gut and skin that are beneficial to us. We speculate that this could be indicative of a modulatory role of the microbiota that these peptides may also have ”.

In tests with mice, the team found that when AMPs were grouped with others from the same region of the body, they were 100 times more potent and worked as well as existing antibiotics.

We could be before the new natural antibiotics.


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