Cockroach brains fighting diseases?


How is it that cockroaches, who venture through the most cruddy and unsanitary places, survive? They crawl through dead tissue, sewage, trash sites and dead tissue where bacteria and parasites are overwhelmingly present. Microbiologist Simon Lee disclosed that cockroaches kill more than 90% of a type of E. coli that causes meningitis and killed methicillin-resistant staph (which is a bacteria that is very resistant to most antibiotics.)  The colleagues at the University of
Nottingham were interested in insects and the ways that they fight off bacteria and diseases. They began by rounding up various body parts from cockroaches and locusts and inserted various types of bacteria to penetrate overnight. They found that the cockroach and locusts brain and thorax nerve tissue terminated almost 100% of the bacteria. One of the colleagues stated: "Insects make hundreds of antimicrobial compounds, and it may be that very high concentrations of those molecules would be required for fighting an infection in humans." In the future, these molecules could be used in fighting human infection. I thought it was pretty interesting to think that a cockroach, which most humans find disgusting, may be a solution to solving some of our toughest bacterial diseases.


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