Study: Substance in Frog Skin Kills Flu Virus
Researchers from the Emory Vaccine Center and the Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology in India discovered that a compound in South Indian frog secretions can destroy influenza viruses. Earlier studies showed the secretions contain "host defense peptides," which protect the frogs from harmful bacteria, and this new research suggests they also contain "anti-flu peptides." According to researchers, this discovery could one day aid in the development of antiviral drugs.
Peptides are minute compounds comprised of amino acid chains. Some found in frog secretions are poisonous to mammal cells. For this recent study, researchers extracted frog secretions using mild electrical stimulation and examined their effect on flu viruses.
They discovered the substance disrupts the integrity of the virus and prevents it from infecting cells. However, protection is specific to certain strains of the flu virus—specifically H1 strains. Because flu viruses do not infect frogs, researchers believe the purpose of the peptides in frog secretions is to fight other pathogens.
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