Photographed by people from around the world, Komodo dragons are a proud part of Indonesian natural heritage. Indigenous to only five islands in the Indonesian archipelago, Komodos are seen by many as being a last link to something akin to the dinosaurs. However, this apex predator is becoming famous for another less-deadly reason.
A Komodo dragon’s bite is well known as being one of the most toxic in the reptile kingdom as the animal’s mouth is filled with various types of bacteria that can cause blood poisoning. While these bacteria are very harmful to anything unlucky enough to come in to contact with them, they are perfectly harmless to the dragons themselves.
This has led scientist to explore what compounds or properties the giant reptiles’ blood might contain in the hope of finding a new treatment for infected wounds. Now, groups of scientists at George Mason University in the US have created a synthetic compound based on a molecule in the blood that had antimicrobial activity which shows healing effects when applied to wounds.
The scientists believe this could be a step forward in the quest to find new antibiotics that are needed to fight multidrug-resistant pathogens. This is only the beginning as many believe these new findings will lead to more immunity discoveries and even help to fight future outbreaks.
Not only does the newly named DRGN-1, which is formulated from the dragons’ blood, help heal and close wounds, it also fights off or prevents any other infection from taking hold. Although it has only been tested on mice so far and on only two bacteria strains, scientist are now beginning to believe that DRGN-1 is an excellent candidate for additional studies and may even be developed as a topical therapeutic agent for infected wounds, which means it could be used to treat ailments in everything from including creams and foams to gels, lotions, and ointments.