WASHINGTON DC, NETRALNEWS.COM - A molecule found in the blood of Komodo dragons can help to heal infected wounds, according to research at George Mason University in the United States (US).
The researchers were able to create a synthetic version of the antimicrobial compound, which they then tested in mice.
According to the study, published in Biofilms and Microbiomes, a Nature partner journal, this discovery could lead to the development of a new type of antibiotic. This could be important in the future as antibiotic resistance renders old drugs less effective.
During studies led by Monique van Hoek, researchers found that the compound, named DRGN-1, effectively healed mouse wounds infected with MRSA, which is extremely resistant to antibiotic treatment.
The study’s authors believe DRGN-1 could be developed as a local treatment for infected wounds, although so far it has only been tested in mice and on two types of bacteria.
The Komodo dragon is a giant lizard that can be found on five islands in Indonesia: Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar.
It is the world's largest living species of lizard, capable of growing up to 10 feet in length. However, that is not the only characteristic that makes it unique. According to van Hoek and team, the reptile rarely becomes ill, despite eating decaying flesh and possessing saliva that is rich in harmful bacteria.
The researchers say that this is down to a peptide found in their blood called VK25, which they isolated from a Komodo dragon residing at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida.