Smelly Frogs to Treat Powerful Infections

The skin of smelly frogs displays the largest number of antibacterial substances

Their smell might not be very encouraging, but scientists put all their hopes in the antimicrobial peptides, widely known as bacteria-killers found on the skin of "odorous" frogs. Experts have reached the conclusion that nine species of Chinese frogs have super powers, when it comes to fighting stubborn infections, otherwise resistant to antibiotics.

Their smell might be almost unbearable, but their characteristics make them one-of-a-kind creatures, with an essential role in scientific research. The group of examiners found no less than 728 antimicrobial peptides while studying the nine species, Mongabay reports.

This number indicates the smelly frogs can fight powerful infections like no other creatures. They display the highest amount of different antibacterial substances.

Experts say the substances found on the creatures' skin represent one third of the overall number of antimicrobial peptides known at this point in time. Moreover, their findings are even more important, since 90% of the substances are newly discovered.

This might count as a successful start of a more ample process, with highly beneficial results for human health. It is not the first time that experts study frogs in an attempt to find cures for deadly illnesses.

They have already joined efforts to come up with a proper cure for a series of infections, mental illnesses and even HIV, relying on the contribution of amphibians.

While the members of the research team have all the reasons to preserve their optimism, biologists are definitely far from being pleased with the evolution of frog populations.

Climate change correlated with habitat loss extreme weather, and also pollution and overexploitation might be responsible for a potential frog mass extinction. A deadly fungal disease called chytridiomycosis is also killing thousands of creatures every year.

IUCN Red List reveals that, out of the total number of 7,000 amphibian species Earth still has, 41% are on the verge of extinction. Within 30 years, these smelly creatures along with their medicinal benefits might become a mere memory from the past.

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