Alligators’s blood can be used to treat several infectious diseases, researchers at McNeese State University in Louisiana have discovered. They explored the antibiotic properties of the American alligator’s blood and found the potential use of the antibiotic proteins in the reptile’s blood includes the treatment of a range of infectious diseases like HIV.
The alligator’s immune system differs from humans and is very strong and helps it to heal quickly. It has the unusual ability of combating microorganisms such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Even in the swampy environment they rarely get infected.
The researchers isolated leucocytes or white blood cells that fight diseases from blood samples taken from American alligators and extracted their active proteins.
They found that small amounts of active proteins killed a range of bacteria, including the highly resistant bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
They also found that alligator white blood cells were full of little proteins that have tremendous antibacterial and antifungal activity. Scientists are now trying to separate and identify the specific peptides in alligator blood, so that its chemical structure can be obtained.
The chemical structure of the blood thus obtained can be potentially used to make new drugs for human and veterinary use. This promises to be a medical breakthrough.