• Strategy

Nervous system fights drug-resistant microbes: cockroach


portrait of a cockroach / David Chao / LicenseCC-by-nc-nd - Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

Nervous system tissues of cockroaches protect them from drug-resistant microbes via unique antimicrobial chemicals.


"A study of locust and cockroach brains has found a number of chemicals which can kill bugs like MRSA.

"Scientists hope these could become a powerful new weapon to boost the dwindling arsenal of antibiotics used to treat severe bacterial infections

"The researchers discovered nine different chemicals in the brains of locusts and cockroaches, which all had anti microbrial properties strong enough to kill 90% of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) while not harming human cells." (Rutherford 2010)

About the inspiring organism

Learn more at EOL.org
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Novel antibiotics for treating drug-resistant infections

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Medicine

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
Dr. Naveed Khan, Lee Simon
The University of Nottingham
Rutherford P. 2010. Insect brains 'are source of antibiotics' to fight MRSA. BBC News [Internet],
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2010. Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics. ScienceDaily [Internet],
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