Frog skin super-drugs…

…will beat those super-bugs. Science Daily reveals a brand new source for potent antibiotics:

The scientists are currently screening skin secretions from more than 6,000 species of frogs for antibiotic activity. So far, they have purified and determined the chemical structure of barely 200, leaving a potential bonanza of antibiotic substances awaiting discovery.

“Many people are working with me, giving me samples of frog skin secretions,” said [Michael] Conlon [a biochemist at the United Arab Emirates University], who has a dozen research collaborators in Japan, France, the United States, and other countries. “We only actually use the frogs to get the chemical structure of the antibiotic, and then we make it in the lab. We take great care not to harm these delicate creatures, and scientists return them to the wild after swabbing their skin for the precious secretions.”

One substance isolated from the skin secretions of the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog — a species once common in California and Oregon but now facing extinction — shows promise for killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. MRSA is a “superbug,” infamous for causing deadly outbreaks of infection among hospitalized patients. Now it is occurring in settings outside hospitals, including schools, nursing homes, and day care centers.

The skin of the mink frog, likewise, contains secretions that show promise for fighting “Iraqibacter,” caused by multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumanni.