Fighting Against Bacteria by Repurposing Venom in Wasps
Almost, half of the people hate the stingy wasps. Surprisingly, recent researches have shown that the toxin present in insects like wasp can be repurposed into a new antibiotic. The poisonous substance present in insects like bees has compounds that kill bacteria and other microbial agents. Toxins of bee and wasp have harmful effects on human and other living organisms. Many researchers have indulged in using the venom of wasp as antibiotics.
MIT research team with Cesar de la Fuente-Nunez as MIT postdoc, have involved in the research of repurposing the wasp’s toxin. Ramon Areces Foundation and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency have funded the research. The researchers have collected the venom from the South American wasps, Polybia paulista. Peptides, similar to the structure of the protein, have 12 amino acids. It helps in fighting against the bacteria by destroying its cell membrane. Researchers have created various peptide variants that have potency against the bacterial attack. After the peptide variant creation, it has been tested in mice. The peptides in mice work out well thereby resisting Pseudomonas aeruginosa, bacteria responsible for harmful infections. By analyzing and finding the activities and properties of the peptides, the researchers find ways to use it in different combinations.
Naturally, the human body and animals produce peptides that potent the attack of harmful bacteria. However, for the new evolved treatments and drug discovery, the actual peptides do not tend to fight off bacteria. Therefore, the researchers have been changing the peptides into the variants that help in the production of new antibiotics. Researchers have tweaked the peptide’s property and have created few variations in it. After the peptide’s alteration, it has been tested with seven bacterial forms and two fungi. The researchers started correlating their structure and the physical properties to analyze the antimicrobial potency. In order to know whether the peptide variants are harmless to human, they have tested the peptide variants in the embryonic kidney cells in the lab.
After the tests, the researchers concluded that the single peptide could eliminate the respiratory problems. They have also said that the same technique could be handled in various situations. Formerly, peptides have been used to kill the pathogens. Now, the MIT research has to lead to the new class of antibiotics using the peptide variants.