Frog skin may be an important source of new antibiotics to treat superbugs say researchers. So far, more than 100 potential bacteria-killing substances have been identified from more than 6,000 species of frog.
The team at the United Arab Emirates University are now trying to tweak the substances to make them less toxic and suitable for use as human medicines. The work was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting.
Drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA, are becoming an increasing problem worldwide. Yet there is a lack of new treatments in the pipeline.
Among the substances found by the researchers are a compound from a rare American species that shows promise for killing MRSA. Another fights a drug-resistant infection seen in soldiers returning from Iraq. The idea of using chemicals from the skin of frogs to kill bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing agents is not a new one.
But it is not a straightforward process to use these chemicals in humans because they are either destroyed in the bloodstream or are toxic to human cells.