New Antibiotics From Frog Skin Could Fight "Superbugs"

Aug 26, 2010
Exec. Prod. of Franchises & Series. He previously reported for HuffPost, L.A. Daily Journal, and Biloxi Sun-Herald.
This frog's skin could cure all manner of super ills. (Photo: Reuters Pictures).

Researchers at the United Arab Emirates University have found a way to harness the powerful germ-fighting compounds in frog skin,  identifying more than 100 new antibiotics which could help fight an emerging class of "superbug" bacteria and viruses that resist most known drugs.

It has long been known that frogs possess potent compounds in their skin which protect them from their harsh environments.

But the stuff that protects frogs is often poison to humans. The UAE team found a way to strip away the harmful chemicals and keep the good ones.

Public health officials have been warning for years that doctors were running out of drugs to fight infections caused by bacteria that have adapted to neutralize traditional antibiotics.

Earlier this month, doctors in several countries warned that a deadly new superbug was moving around the world from India, thanks in part to medical tourism.

The pipeline for new antibiotics has essentially dried up in recent years, because pharmaceutical companies consider their development to be unprofitable

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