Fish slime may have medical uses

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Scientists are investigating the mucus of fish as a possible source of new medicines, says a report from the BBC.

Scientists at the University of the West of England are examining the slime produced by fish to investigate how its antibacterial properties might be able to be put to use in human medicine, such as the production of novel antibiotics.

Dr Carolyn Paul told the BBC: "Trout secrete a thick mucus which contains important chemicals which let them fight off bacteria in the river."

"Extracts from the trout mucus have already been shown to prevent growth and slow down the metabolic activity of some of these types of infectious bacteria.

"Our work is at a very early stage but if we can purify and produce these chemicals commercially, they may give us a new type of antibiotic, badly needed in view of the growing menace of antibiotic-resistant bacteria."