Seek to turn wasp venom into an antibiotic against super-resistant bacteria

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15TH, 2020.-

🖊️EL PAIS📸 porfirioflores.org


Super-resistant bacteria kill 700,000 people a year

Research seeks to turn wasp venom into an antibiotic capable of killing super-resistant bacteria. It has been successfully tested on mice and could soon move to the next level to be examined in humans.

In hospitals and clinics, super-re-existing bacteria are becoming an increasingly common threat. These pathogens immune to most known antibiotics are the result of drug abuse and self-medication.

In a few years, mutated versions of bacteria previously controlled are expected to be new deadly dangers to the inadequacy of current antibiotics. Hence investigations such as that led by Spain's César de la Fuente are crucial.

This October, the journal PNAS has published promising research: according to the paper, the wasp poison that biotechnologists work with would live up to some of the most effective antibiotics known.

Such results could be a future balm for doctors. Although they fear that resistant bacteria will be an increasing and more common problem, they already claim thousands of lives a year. According to the newspaper El País, approximately 700,000 people die each year from diseases that would be related to multi-resistant bacteria.

"What is happening today is that bacteria have developed mechanisms to survive and inactivate the antibiotics we have in hospitals and pharmacies," said researcher César de la Fuente.

The scientist uses in his research the venom of the species Vespula lewisii. The properties of this substance have been known for several years, but, as the scientist admitted, toxicity was too high to think about the development of a drug.

The method scientists use to create an antibiotic from this poison has already been patented. They hope that in the medium term human testing can be done.

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