Blood of Komodo dragons could provide antibiotic alternative

pexels-photo-42754(Note: I initially wrote this piece for a workshop at ComSciCon-PNW 2017)

In January of 2017, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a much more frightening Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report than usual: a woman in Nevada had perished from a bacterial infection that no antibiotic in America could fight. Doctors administered 26 different antibiotics to no avail.

“If we’re waiting for some sort of major signal that we need to attack this internationally, we need an aggressive program, both domestically and internationally to attack this problem, here’s one more signal that we need to do that,” Lance Price, the head of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, told STAT News.

Recently, researchers at George Mason University made a discovery that could add to science’s arsenal against antibiotic resistance: the presence of powerful antimicrobial chemical compounds in the blood of Komodo dragons. Continue reading