10 May 2007

Got (wallaby) milk?

Researchers in Melbourne, Australia report finding a broad-spectrum antimicrobial compound in the milk of the Tammar wallaby, which lives on islands off Australia's south and west coasts. Like other young, wallabies are born with an undeveloped immune system yet seem notably resistant to infection; the compound, AGG01, may be why.
Using advanced computer systems, researchers at the state of Victoria's Department of Primary Industries in Melbourne, Australia, found more than 30 potential bug-fighting compounds in the milk of the Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii). One compound, known as AGG01, was particularly potent said lead researcher and animal geneticist, Ben Cocks.

Some experiments showed small amounts of a synthetic form of the drug were able to kill all bacteria in 30 minutes. "We found in lab tests that AGG01 is very effective against multidrug-resistant gram negative bacteria, including those that are most difficult to treat," he said.
Next research step: Designing a wallaby-milking machine.

Full text: Anti-superbug weapon developed from wallaby milk

(Hat tip to Boing Boing.)

No comments: