Scientists repurpose wasp venom as an antibiotic
After performing a study of the antimicrobial properties of a toxin normally found in a South American wasp, researchers at MIT have now created variants of the peptide that are bactericidal. This is an important discovery in the fight against the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Wasp venom peptides are now being studied for their potential in the pharmaceutical industry.
Like many other antimicrobials, this venom-derived peptide is thought to kill microbes by disrupting bacterial cell membranes. The venom’s peptide has an alpha helical structure, which is known to interact strongly with cell membranes.