American and Brazilian scientists have obtained a protein that kills bacteria from the venom of Asian wild bees. Protein has been made safe for humans through genetic modification, Report informs, citing Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Many types of bacteria that cause the disease are known to be resistant to existing drugs. Simultaneously, according to scientists, bacterial infections account for one-fifth of all deaths in the world. Therefore, scientists from different countries are always looking for new antibacterial substances.
The main venom of the Asian wild bee Vespula lewisii – peptide mastoparan – L or mast – L destroys the bacterial membrane, which leads to the death of dangerous pathogens.
At the same time, this protein, which is generally harmless to humans in small doses, is extremely toxic. This poison destroys red blood cells and causes an anaphylactic shock, a drop in blood pressure, and an allergic inflammatory reaction that can lead to death due to respiratory arrest.
Therefore, the new protein has been made safe for humans. Studies in mice have shown that the recent discovery protects animals against intestinal spores and other deadly bacterial infections without serious side effects. In these tests, the drug’s effectiveness can be compared with existing antibiotics such as gentamicin and imipenem.