Study finds out how ants can change the world of antibiotics.
A research team studying the antimicrobial properties of several ant species has found the insects may help scientists develop new antibiotics to fight human disease.
They found 20 ant species had antimicrobial properties. "One species we looked at, the thief ant (Solenopsis molesta), had the most powerful antibiotic effect of any species we tested – and until now, no one had even shown that they made use of antimicrobials," says Adrian Smith, co-author on the study.
They also found that some ant species were able to produce their OWN antibiotics, although that was not correlated with whether or not they had antimicrobial properties. "These "alternative ways" the ants have developed to fight off pathogens present intriguing new mysteries to be solved by future research. Further study will initially hone in on what specific compounds are generating these antimicrobial effects and how broad the effects actually are, as a major limitation of this study is that only a single bacterial agent was used in the experiments."
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Haridy, R. (2018, February 6). How Ants Could inspire a New Generation of Antibiotics. News Atlas. Retrieved February 8, 2018, from https://newatlas.com/ant-inspired-antibiotics/53283/?utm_source=Gizmag Subscribers&utm_campaign=7eb64485fa-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-7eb64485fa-76698122