Centipede Defense Against Microbes

House Centipede

House Centipede

Centipedes live and hunt in decaying organic matter, a substrate teeming with bacteria, fungi and other potentially harmful microorganisms. The Brazilian centipede, Scolopendra viridicornis is known to have medicinal properties. The centipedes are dried and the powder used for a variety of treatments.

Chaparro and da Silva* investigated Scolopendra viridicornis extracts and identified a novel peptide, lacrain. Interesting properties include antibiotic activity against gram negative bacteria only. Lacrain had no effect on human erythrocytes making it a candidate or lead chemical for medical uses as a bactericide. Centipedes are an under explored group that may yield new biomaterials of economic and medical importance.

* E. Chaparro & P.I. da Silva Junior. Lacrain: the first antimicrobial peptide from the body extract of the Brazilian centipede Scolopendra viridicornis. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in Biomaterials, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Centipede Defense Against Microbes

  1. Pingback: Centipede Defense Against Microbes – Entomo Planet

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