From toxins to treatment: Antimicrobial peptides and antibiotics derived from snake venom
There is an urgent need to discover novel antimicrobials to treat antimicrobial resistant infections. Proteins isolated from venomous organisms, such as scorpions, have been found to have antibacterial potential. LSTM houses the UK’s largest collection of venomous snakes. Preliminary work has identified at least 8 fractions of venom from African Saw-Scaled Vipers which have antibacterial activity towards clinically relevant Gram-negative bacteria. I propose further fractionation to identify the proteins responsible for the antibacterial activity and to expand the systematic screening of fractionated venom to other species of snakes to identify proteins which can be developed into new lead, venom-derived, antimicrobials.