Golden Staph cure
A VERY real hope to rid hospitals of potentially deadly “golden staph” is moving closer to becoming reality thanks to the Daintree’s green-eyed tree Frog.
Scientists working in the rain forest have discovered its skin secretions are toxic to a range of bacteria including multi-drugresistant Staphylococcus aureus, or known more commonly as golden staph.
The frog, which inhabits the Cooper Creek wilderness near Cape Tribulation, only produces the secretions in a bid to protect itself but it has been discovered that the peptides produced within the secretions may be beneficial to mankind.
And the frog’s potential to kill off golden staph looks very promising according to Professor Frances Separovic, biophysical biologist and Head of Chemistry at Melbourne University, who is undertaking tests of the frog’s skin secretions.
Golden staph is one of a number of greatlyfeared strains of Staphylococcus aureus often found in hospitals and have become highly resistant to most antibiotics.
But according to Prof Separovic’s research the frog’s skin secretions contain antimicrobial peptides that destroy bacterial membranes.
Prof Separovic said the research had so far taken four years to conduct and it is still very much ongoing and would be at least another 10 years before it was concluded and they could use the frog’s secretions in a “real world” application.
“We have found four main peptides within this frog’s secretions with one of them showing signs of being particularly useful in fighting Golden Staph,” Prof Separovic said.
“In our search of ways to fight antibioticresistant bacteria, such as Golden Staph, we are analysing synthetic anti-microbial skin secretions of Australian green-eyed and growling grass frogs.
“These two species were selected because peptides secreted from their skin form a defence to the infamous Golden Staph.”
Golden frog: Green-eyed tree-frog that may have antibiotic properties in its skin secretions to help fight Golden Staph