Fighting the flu may just have gotten a bit froggier: recent research reveals that skin mucus from specific frogs can be yoked to help when it comes to battling the virus.
Certain mucus from frogs have immune system molecules referred to antimicrobial peptides, that can counteract viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Still, the power around these peptides as it relates to killing the flu bug has only been revealed via lab mice and under a microscope.
Additional research is required to figure out how well the peptide can battle the flu when it comes to humans.
As per the study, this peptide, referred to as urumin, can battle H1 flu illnesses.
Still, CNN reported that a protein that resides on the flu viruses’ surface, known as hemagglutinin, within those illness strains that make an individual sick, will increase and attach to cells to infect them. The influenza A virus, one of four kinds, where two generally spread within in humans, are based on their hemagglutinin levels and divided into subtypes H1, H2, H3, H5, and H7.
When it comes to the study, the secretions from the skin of 15 frogs, from the Hydrophylax bahuvistara species, were collected. Peptides, as such, were collected from these secretions. The study team reviewed how the peptides related with the flu virus in mice, under a microscope.
According to the team, they reviewed 32 peptides and were shocked that four of these had fought against the virus. The team noted that urumin was not toxic when it came to cells that were human and when they tested it against the virus, it seemed to eliminate all the H1s. Still, the team noted it did not touch H3, so they do seem quite specific in their battle.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the flu subtypes that circulate within humans globally, which include South Asia, Europe, and North America, are H1 and H3.
Still, the team is unsure of why urumin targets only H1 viruses, however the researchers do note that this strain may be similar to the amphibian pathogen that frog mucus was organically intended to get rid of.
The next challenge? To find out how to use this frog mucus as a treatment for humans when it comes to fighting the flu and how to figure out the way urumin peptide can latch itself to flu virus cells within a human. Seems like more testing and research may be needed.