Hyderabad: A novel Anti-Microbial Protein (AMP) found in the milk of egg laying mammals Echidna can be used as alternatives to the antibiotics used in livestock, researchers said.
Scientists at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) have found that the milk of Echidna (also known as spiny anteaters) contain a novel AMP, important to keep their young ones safe from possible infections.
According to a statement from CSIR-CCMB on Wednesday, unlike mammals which directly give birth to their young ones, Echidna are unique egg laying mammals found only in Australia and New Guinea. Their young ones depend completely on their mothers’ milk. As the mammary glands of the female Echidna are devoid of nipples, the young of these egg-laying mammals lick milk from the body surface of their mothers. This also becomes a potential source of many micro-organisms entering the young ones’ bodies. A research team led Dr Satish Kumar at CSIR-CCMB have shown that this protein creates punctures in the cell membranes of multiple bacterial species and so in future can be used as alternatives to the present antibiotics. They have also found out ways to produce the AMP in large quantities using E.coli — an easy to use system for life scientists and industry. (IANS)
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