Worms may offer treatments for multiple diseases, including cancer

November 20th, 2007 - 4:53 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, November 20 (ANI): It sounds a bit bizarre, but worms can be a potential source of chemical compounds that may help battle harmful germs.

Sun Zhenjun, a scientist at China Agricultural University in Beijing, says that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners included worms in their preparations for centuries.

The researcher, who describes the insect treatments as “cold” and “slightly salty”, thinks that worms may offer viable treatments for almost every disease ranging from herpes to cancer.

During their study, the researchers obtained cancerous cells from China-Japan Friendship Hospital, and introduced them to worm tissues and fluids. Their experiment showed significant change, with many of the cancer cells dying.

Talking to Discovery News, Zhenjun revealed that his team has also discovered that worm compounds, specifically some complex carbohydrates and protein components, “have antibacterial functions”.

The researchers also mixed human-infecting bacteria like E. coli, staph, pneumonia, candida etc. with the worm compounds.

It was found that the worm goo had the potential to kill each of the bacteria.

The researchers also found that the worm compound could kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an extremely harmful bacteria that is naturally resistant to penicillin and most other antibiotics.

Zhenjun and his colleagues are now working on isolating the most powerful anti-cancer and antibacterial agents in worms, which they hope to synthesize for human use in future.

The study will be published in the journal Soil Biology. (ANI)

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