Dracula’s children may lead to novel drug design

Share via AddThis
Posted on June 20, 2013

Vampire bat venom could hold the key to new treatments for stroke and high blood pressure. An international team of scientists led by UQ’s Associate Professor Bryan Fry from the School of Biological Sciences has discovered that vampire bat venom contains molecules capable of evading the victim’s immune system.

26378

“Our team’s results point to entirely new forms of anticoagulants in the venom, as well as novel molecules that cause dilation of the small arteries near the skin,” Associate Professor Fry said.

“Just as snake venom has developed rapidly to stay ahead of evolving resistance in prey, vampire bats are rapidly evolving their venom to prevent the immune system of the prey from generating antibodies against the venom molecules.”

Associate Professor Fry said vampire bats secreted multiple forms of the same active components, with myriad tiny changes scattered across the surface of the molecule.

“This means that even if an antibody is generated against one molecule, there are a number of other ones that will sneak past the prey’s defence system and keep the blood flowing. This means the same victim can be fed on night after night.”

“The discovery reveals a vast array of novel molecules, which have tremendous potential to yield new treatments for stroke and high blood pressure.”

The study’s findings are published in the Journal of Proteomics.

Source: University of Queensland



39,002 science & technology articles

Categories

Our Articles (see all)

General News

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   StumbleUpon   Plurk
Google+   Tumblr   Delicious   RSS   Newsletter via Email

Featured Video (see all)


Sunglasses on demand
Apart from their style, sunglasses have changed very little in the last few decades. Photochromic lenses that change…

Featured Image (see all)


Solar Eclipse From the International Space Station
Expedition 43 Flight Engineer Samantha Cristoforetti took a series of photographs of the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse…