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Interesting Research! Frog Bacteria May Help Cure Fungal Infection Among Humans

"For amphibians, this is a promising study because there are only four chemically described bacterial secondary metabolites that inhibit chytrid fungi" 

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Frog
The research also holds promise for frogs, as the bacteria may help defy the chytridiomycosis epidemic, a major cause of disease-related deaths among amphibians worldwide, the researchers said. Pixabay

Frog skin bacteria may help develop alternative drugs to treat fungal infections that are becoming more drug-resistant in humans, finds a study.

The study showed that Pseudomonas Cichorii — a bacteria with antifungal properties living on frog’s skins — can potentially inhibit the growth of Aspergillus Fumigatus (A. Fumigatus) — a fungus that causes invasive aspergillosis — an infectious disease — in humans with impaired immune system.

The research also holds promise for frogs, as the bacteria may help defy the chytridiomycosis epidemic, a major cause of disease-related deaths among amphibians worldwide, the researchers said.

“We are showing to the scientific community a set of possible alternative molecules to fight fungal drug resistance in humans,” said lead author Christian Martin, from the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services in Panama.

frog
This research has identified an antifungal compound produced by frog skin bacteria, which may be used to control pathogenic fungi affecting humans and amphibians. Pixabay

“Although more studies are needed, our collaboration could spark interest in conservation of amphibians as a novel source of bioactive compounds in humans.

“For amphibians, this is a promising study because there are only four chemically described bacterial secondary metabolites that inhibit chytrid fungi,” Martin said.

For the study, published in Scientific Reports journal, the team travelled to the Chiriqui highlands in Panama, where the chytrid fungus, responsible for the disease chytridiomycosis, has severely affected amphibian populations.

They collected samples from seven frog species to find out what kind of skin bacteria they harboured.

bacteria
“For amphibians, this is a promising study because there are only four chemically described bacterial secondary metabolites that inhibit chytrid fungi,” Martin said. Pixabay

In the laboratory, 201 bacterial strains were retrieved from the samples and tested against A. Fumigatus, in patients having an impaired immune system.

Of these, 29 showed antifungal activity, but particularly one bacterium called Pseudomonas Cichorii showed the greatest potential to inhibit the growth of A. Fumigatus.

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“I consider that bioprospecting compounds from skin secretions or bacteria living in frog’s skins is just the beginning,” said scientist Roberto Ibanez from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City.

“This research has identified an antifungal compound produced by frog skin bacteria, which may be used to control pathogenic fungi affecting humans and amphibians. More research will be required to determine its potential medicinal use,” Ibanez said. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Develop Novel Treatment to Treat Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis

However, in people with autoimmune disease, these cells somehow escape the checkpoint and the immune system remains in a state of alert, attacking body cells

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Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a novel and safe treatment for autoimmune diseases including Type-1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS) that arise when the body’s immune cells attack itself.

Current treatments eliminate these misfunctioning immune cells, but also destroy normal, protective immune cells, leaving patients susceptible to immune deficiency and opportunistic infections.

The new approach, by researchers from the University of Utah in the US, targets the misfunctioning immune cells while leaving the normal immune cells in place.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, the team engineered a protein molecule to deplete the misfunctioning PD-1-expressing cells from the body while leaving normal immune cells in place.

“We wanted to target PD-1-expressing cells. Using this method, we may avoid long-term immune deficiency caused by common treatments for autoimmune disease,” said lead author Peng Zhao, from the varsity.

When tested in a mouse model mimicking Type-1 diabetes, the treatment delayed the onset of diabetes.

“We are really taking treatment for autoimmune disease in a new direction,” said Mingnan Chen, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

Diabetes
Representational image. Pixabay

“To make similar therapeutics for people, we would need to find the anti-human PD-1 antibody, like the anti-mouse PD-1 antibody.

“If we can generate the human version of therapeutics, I think we could make a huge impact in treating autoimmune disease,” Chen said.

In addition, the treatment was also applied to a mouse MS model.

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Besides halting the progression of paralysis, the treatment also restored the mice’s ability to walk.

In a normal functioning immune system, the PD-1-expressing cells, including immune cells, contain a mechanism that prevents the cycle from attacking itself.

However, in people with autoimmune disease, these cells somehow escape the checkpoint and the immune system remains in a state of alert, attacking body cells. (IANS)