A search for an anti-viral therapeutic ended in the Western Ghats of southern India. The fungoid frog produces host defense peptides that can specifically kill influenza viruses.
Skin mucus secreted by a colourful, tennis-ball-sized frog species found in Kerala can be used to develop an anti-viral drug that can treat various strains of flu, according to a new study.
The Frog mucus is loaded with molecules that kill bacteria and viruses and researchers are beginning to investigate it as a potential source for new anti-microbial drugs. One of these “host defence peptides,” found in a colourful tennis-ball-sized frog species (Hydrophylax bahuvistara) native of Kerala can destroy many strains of human flu and protect mice against flu infection, researchers said.
The researchers named the newly identified peptide “urumin,” after the urumi, a sword with a flexible blade that snaps and bends like a whip – Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urumi
The study was published in the journal Immunity. Volume 46 – Issue 4 (dated 18 April 2017)
In this issue of Immunity, Holthausen et al. (587–595) describe urumin, a frog-derived host defense peptide that neutralizes H1-bearing human influenza A viruses, including those that are drug resistant. Urumin targets the conserved stalk of hemagglutinin and protects mice from a lethal influenza infection.
http://www.cell.com/immunity/fulltext/S1074-7613(17)30128-0 – Research paper
Strory in Sci-news website – http://www.sci-news.com/medicine/frog-skin-peptide-urumin-influenza-04795.html