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Spanish scientist’s medicine can save millions of lives – Insurance for Pets


© The Country

Spanish biotechnologist and immunologist César de la Fuente, together with a research team, has succeeded in turning wasp venom into a synthetic antibiotic that eliminates multi-resistant bacteria. The research results are promising, because 80 percent of the mice that were administered the antibiotic in the study survived an infection with resistant bacteria.

Medicine can save millions of lives

In the study, De la Fuente rearranged the molecular structure of the wasp venom making it harmless to humans but deadly to resistant bacteria. If approved, the drug can be used for hundreds of different types of infectious diseases and can save millions of lives worldwide.

José Miguel Cisneros, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at the Hospital Virgen del Rocío in Seville, is enthusiastic about de la Fuente’s research results. According to Cisneros, it is a distinctive and innovative approach to one of the biggest issues in global healthcare.

Infections that cannot be treated are the leading cause of death

Due to the lack of an effective and safe antibiotic, more than 35,000 people die each year in Spain alone from an infection with multi-resistant bacteria. Worldwide, this is 700 thousand per year, a number that will increase considerably in the future without the arrival of an effective drug. According to a WHO calculation, in 2050 without effective antibiotics, 10 million people per year will die from an untreatable infection. In thirty years, infection with multi-resistant bacteria will thus become the number one cause of death.

De la Fuente reports that the antibiotic effect of the wasp venom, known in scientific circles as Vespula Lewisii, has been known for years, but that its extreme toxicity has prevented its medicinal use until now. With a rearrangement of the molecules in the poison, de la Fuente managed to eliminate this harmful effect.

Double effect

The wasp venom is not only antibiotic, but also has anti-inflammatory properties. This makes the effectiveness of the wasp venom even stronger, because infections always provoke inflammatory reactions. It is precisely these inflammatory reactions that can cause people to become seriously ill and eventually die.

It is the first time that animal poison has been used in the development of an antibiotic. The next step in the research is the preclinical phase, in which the antibiotic is tested on test subjects. This testing phase is going to take some time, but if all goes well, this drug could save millions of lives worldwide.

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