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Pathog Glob Health. 2012 Aug;106(4):218-23. doi: 10.1179/2047773212Y.0000000033.

Animals living in polluted environments are potential source of antimicrobials against infectious agents.

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School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, UK.


The antimicrobials crisis is a ticking time bomb which could lead to millions of people dying from untreatable infections. With the worsening trends of antimicrobial resistance, we are heading towards a pre-antibiotic era. Thus, there is a need for newer and more powerful antibiotic agents. The search for new antibiotic compounds originating from natural resources is a promising research area. Animals living in germ-infested environments are a potent source of antimicrobials. Under polluted milieus, organisms such as cockroaches encounter different types of bacteria, including superbugs. Such creatures survive the onslaught of superbugs and are able to ward off disease by producing antimicrobial substances which show potent activity in the nervous system. We hope that the discovery of antimicrobial activity in the cockroach brain will stimulate research in finding antimicrobials from unusual sources, and has potential for the development of novel antibiotics. Nevertheless, intensive research in the next few years will be required to approach or realize these expectations.

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