Maggots live in some of the most disgusting conditions imaginable and never get ill. Nobody ever asked why until these scientists in Swansea University in Wales decided to have a look.
Surprise, surprise they produce an antibiotic that halts the growth of bacteria or even kills them.
From the Swansea University Press Release:
“Using live maggots on infected wounds is an age-old method of tackling infection and they work with amazing speed. It’s not uncommon for someone to suffer from chronic infected wounds for 18 months, despite all sorts of conventional treatment, but when maggots are applied to the same wound they can often begin to clear infection in just a few days. They have even been known to save people from having limbs amputated.
“The antibiotic, named Seraticin™, is derived from the maggot secretions of the common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) and scientists hope to develop it into an injection, pill or ointment.”
Right now Seraticin™ can tackle up to 12 different strains of MRSA, as well as E. coli and C. difficile
“Maggots are great little multi-taskers. They produce enzymes that clean wounds, they make a wound more alkaline which may slow bacterial growth and finally they produce a range of antibacterial chemicals that stop the bacteria growing.”
In my book The Cockroach Catcher I lamented:
".......Nearly all Medical Schools in England no longer specify biology as a prerequisite subject for anybody who wishes to embark on the study of the human body. As we are so intertwined with the rest of the living biological world I find this policy quite extraordinary....."
On the other hand, Johns Hopkins Medical School still requires Biology so did the majority of US medical schools.
Perhaps some Medical Schools will now change their requirements. Go easy with the pesticide spray too.