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Frog skin may offer 'kiss of death' for antibiotic-resistant germs

Kissing a frog won't turn it into a prince - except in fairy tales - but frog's skin can actually provide a 'kiss of death' for antibiotic-resistant germs.

Scientists have claimed that frog skin contains natural substances that could be the basis for a powerful new genre of antibiotics.

In a new study, the team of stalwart frog-fanciers described enlisting colleagues worldwide to ship secretions from hundreds of promising frog skins to their laboratory in the United Arab Emirates.

Using that amphibious treasure trove, they identified more than 100 antibiotic substances in the skins of different frog species from around the world.

One even fights "Iraqibacter," the bacterium responsible for drug-resistant infections in wounded soldiers returning from Iraq.

Dr. Michael Conlon, who reported on the research, noted that the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, which have the ability to shrug off conventional antibiotics, is a growing problem worldwide.

Thus, patients need new types of antibiotics to replace drugs that no longer work.

"Frog skin is an excellent potential source of such antibiotic agents. They've been around 300 million years, so they've had plenty of time to learn how to defend themselves against disease-causing microbes in the environment. Their own environment includes polluted waterways where strong defenses against pathogens are a must," said Conlon.
 
 

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