A new discovery could lead to new antiviral medicine. The Emory University School of Medicine has discovered a new protein in the mucus of Hydrophylax bahuvistara, the South Indian frog. This protein, called urumin, targets the stalk of H1 influenza viruses and physically destroys it. Frogs produce antibacterial and antiviral compounds to protect their skin from infections. with more research, other proteins could be discovered that may be the basis of new medications.
Urumin was synthesized and used successfully to kill the flu in lab mice. However, the protein is unstable in the body and degrades relatively quickly. The researchers are hopeful that they can stabilize the molecule and start human trials. They believe urumin could be a new antiviral medication that stops future pandemics.