Ants Could Be Our New Life Savers

They Make Their Own Antibiotics


James Lake

7 February 2018

James Lake

Article heading image for Ants Could Be Our New Life Savers

Hundreds of millions of ants are busy living their lives beneath our feet every day. Apart from when they break into the pantry, we rarely give them a thought... until now.

Scientists are recruiting ants to help in the war against antibiotic resistant superbugs. It comes after the discovery a number of species of ant which make a powerful antimicrobial coating, for their own protection.

Unfortunately with the over-prescribing of antibiotics for many years now, experts say a lot of the drugs we use to fight infections are becoming useless. So it's hoped these clever critters can be a source of much needed new antibiotics.

The discovery was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, with scientists claiming to have found 12 different species of ants which carry some kind of special antimicrobial agents on the surface of their exoskeletons.

While it doesn't mean you should let ants crawl on you next time you're fighting an infection, maybe just think twice next time we're about to stamp on one.

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