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Edgardo Moreno, Ph.D.
Professor, Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica
Bruno Lomonte, Ph.D.
Professor, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Jose, Costa Rica
"Discovering Alternative Antibiotics from Venom Obtained from Tropical Snakes in Costa Rica"
Category: Health: 2000
The discovery of antibiotics brought a new era in the treatment of infectious diseases, unfortunately, antibiotic-resistant microorganisms are increasing around the world. Therefore, a search for new and efficient antibiotics is an urgent global concern. Previous studies have shown that toxins from the venom of the "terciopelo" snake in Costa Rica is capable of killing disease-causing microbes, and this antibiotic action could be reproduced by a small portion derived from the toxin. Dr. Moreno and Dr. Lomonte's project seeks to further characterize the antibiotic activity of different venom toxins from various tropical snakes, and derive ways to reproduce their activity more efficiently. It is hoped that the new antibiotics will combat infectious diseases without causing damage to humans or contaminating the environment. Since these antibiotics are derived directly from tropical animals, mainly within protected areas of natural forests, this work will demonstrate the importance of natural ecosystems and the preservation of these areas.