Scientific experts from India have discovered that a certain species of frogs - namely Hydrophylax bahuvistara - is capable of secreting substances that are destructive to a huge number of all kinds of influenza strains. This information was released by the news agency BBC.
Scientists have carefully analyzed various protein molecules that have been isolated from mucous secretions of amphibians living in the southern regions of India. Mucous secretions were produced by frogs after a moderate impact electric shock was applied to them. Researchers were surprised when they learned that among more than three dozen peptide compounds, four of them had clearly expressed antiviral abilities. Nevertheless, only one of them was absolutely harmless: it is Urumin. Urumin demonstrated complete safety for the human body: it did not damage the red blood cells and simultaneously had a disastrous effect on influenza viruses.
According to expert Josh Jacob - and this is one of the leaders of the study - in order to detect one possible drug, you need to test from hundreds of thousands to millions of all kinds of compounds. Therefore, the scientist was much surprised when one animal simultaneously revealed four potential therapeutic substances.
The action of ubimine is the blocking of hemagglutinin (H 1 ), localized in the surface layer of viral cells. Hemmaglutinin helps particles to connect with host cells, and also get inside them.
The drug received by scientists has already been tested on experimental rodents. After the introduction of the drug on the basis of urumine in mice, the survival rate of rodents proved to be 100% with the injection of the lethal dose of the influenza virus H 1. This virus was the source of mass incidence of influenza in 2009.
Currently, experts are exploring the possibility of manufacturing medicines based on the substance they found. They also have to find out if peptide compounds, obtained from mucous secretions of frogs, are capable of inhibiting the development of other viruses, for example, the causative agent of Zik fever.
There are a lot of flu viruses at the moment. Such viruses can infect both people and artiodactyls, poultry, seals, dolphins, etc. Most often, viruses for each species of their own. However, they tend to change, evolve, interbreed with each other. Therefore, there may be cases of the emergence of a virus capable of affecting simultaneously different species of animals. These viruses include the recently known agents of "avian" and "swine" influenza.
Since viruses are constantly changing, it is very important for a person to have a universal antiviral drug that could help solve the problem with recurrent epidemics and influenza pandemics. But now ordinary people can only wait for new discoveries from scientists, and also hope for a decrease in the damaging potential of viruses.
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Medical expert editor
Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich
Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"