Sloths have a peculiar characteristic: they are almost never sick, despite the fact that their skin is full of bugs, fungi and bacteria. What is your secret?
Scientists from the University of Costa Rica believe that the lazy hides a antibacterial microorganismwhich could combat the superbugs that they have become rdrug resistant.
Due to the abuse of antibiotics, which many humans consume without needing them, and which are given to livestock to prevent, many bacteria get used to them and become resistant. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, Antibiotic-resistant bacteria will kill 10 million people a year.
The only way to combat them is with new antibiotics. But it is not easy to discover them. according to account Phys.orgthe scientist Max Chavarria, from the University of Costa Rica, believes that some of them could be… in the body of the lazy.
The sloth skin is literally full of insects, algae, fungi and bacteriaamong other microbes, some of which could pose a disease risk.
Judy Avey has a sanctuary in Costa Rica that cares for sloths injured by humans, electrified by utility poles, or fallen from trees. Chatting with her, Max Chavarría discovered that rarely do sloths get sick.
Judy Avey has cared for about 1,000 sloths in 30 years, and only 5 of them had infections. Even some who had suffered open wounds for days had not been infected.
The sloth that never gets sick
It seems obvious that there is something in the sloth skin which prevents the penetration of infections in your body. Some type of microorganism with antibacterial properties.
That is why Max Max Chavarria has been collecting since 2020 fragments of fur and fur from the sloth, to study the microorganisms it contains. You have already located 20 microorganisms that may be candidates to become future medicines.
But it is a long process, since you have to study them at the molecular level, and see if they act against the most resistant superbacteria. It takes years, but he knows that perhaps one of these microorganisms could save the lives of millions of people in the future.
He lazyin danger of extinction, can offer a key medication to combat the drug resistant superbugs. That is why it is so important to protect fauna or flora. Any living being, however insignificant it may seem, could give us a medicine that will save millions of lives in the future.