Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Next on the Menu: Cocktail de Cucaracha
Researchers from the University of Nottingham in England noticed that many soldiers returned from service in the Middle East with unusual infections. They wondered how these microbials could effect humans so badly, but leave locusts from the region completely unaffected. The result of this wonder was a research project that used the ground up body parts of both locusts and American cockroaches in controlled experiments to identify and isolate the agents responsible for fighting off disease and infection.
As a result of the study, the researchers discovered that compounds found in cockroach brains and locust thoraxes kill 100 percent of the bacteria they were subjected to, without having any adverse effect on human tissues. Included in these tests was the E. coli strain responsible for meningitis.
While the compounds are all still in the process of being identified, there is hope that a cocktail of both cockroach brains and locust thorax could eventually be used for treating a whole host of bacterial infections in humans.
S. Lee et al. The brain lysates of locusts and cockroaches exhibit potent broad spectrum antibacterial activity. Society for General Microbiology meeting. Nottingham, England, September 7, 2010.