Worms seem to be a possible source of chemical compounds that may
facilitate to fight harmful germs. It appears that Chinese have long
known this medicinal quality of worms. According to Sun Zhenjun, a
scientist at China Agricultural University in Beijing, the Chinese
medicine practitioners have included worms in their preparations for
Sun Zhenjun, a scientist at China Agricultural University in Beijing, says that traditional Chinese medicine practitioners included worms in their preparations for centuries.
The researcher, who describes the insect treatments as "cold" and "slightly salty", thinks that worms may offer viable treatments for almost every disease ranging from herpes to cancer.
During their study, the researchers obtained cancerous cells from China-Japan Friendship Hospital, and introduced them to worm tissues and fluids. Their experiment showed "significant" change, with many of the cancer cells dying.
Talking to Discovery News, Zhenjun revealed that his team has also discovered that worm compounds, specifically some complex carbohydrates and protein components, "have antibacterial functions".
The researchers also mixed human-infecting bacteria like E. coli, staph, pneumonia, candida etc. with the worm compounds.
It was found that the worm goo had the potential to kill each of the bacteria.
The researchers also found that the worm compound could kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an extremely harmful bacteria that is naturally resistant to penicillin and most other antibiotics.
Zhenjun and his colleagues are now working on isolating the most powerful anti-cancer and antibacterial agents in worms, which they hope to synthesize for human use in future.
The study will be published in the journal Soil Biology.