Platypus Milk Could Solve The World's Superbug Problem

New discovery

Platypus Milk Could Solve The World's Superbug Problem

Australia's humble platypus might hold the answer to the world's superbug woes.

A protein in the native animal's milk, could be used to kill of antibiotic resistant bugs, researchers reckon. 

The platypus is a monotreme, which along with echidnas, are the only mammals that lay eggs and produce milk to feed their young.

But because they don't have teats, they express their highly-nutritious milk onto their belly - leaving it exposed to the environment.

And that's why researchers from the CSIRO and Deakin University believe it is so potent.

"By taking a closer look at their milk, we've characterised a new protein that has unique antibacterial properties with the potential to save lives," CSIRO scientist Dr Janet Newman said on Thursday.

In 2014, the World Health Organisation pleaded for urgent action to avoid a "post-antibiotic era" where people would be dying from once-treatable minor injuries and common infections due to antibiotic resistant super bugs.