Did you know that an alligator’s immune system can fight HIV.
Human serum destroyed only eight of the bacterial strains. But the alligator serum killed all 23, including drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).
(Related news: “Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found in Wild Arctic Birds” [January 24, 2008].)
When the alligator serum was exposed to HIV the researchers found that a good amount of the virus was destroyed.
The study team thinks that pills and creams containing alligator peptides could be available at local pharmacies within seven to ten years.
Such products would be a boon to patients that need extra help preventing infections, such as diabetes patients with foot ulcers, burn victims, and people suffering from auto-immune diseases.
But there may be potential hurdles before alligator-based medicines can reach drugstore shelves.
For example, Darville noted, initial tests have revealed that higher concentrations of the alligator serum tend to be toxic to human cells.