Ant Antibiotic Treatment

Ant Antibiotic Treatment
Megaponera analis with a termite meal

Researchers at the University of Wurzburg in Germany have discovered that a species of African ants make antibiotics and treat the infections of their wounded comrades. The species studied is Matabele ants (Megaponera analis)in sub-Saharan Africa. Their diet consists of termites. The ants raid termite nests to get their food, but the termite soldiers fight back with their powerful mandibles. Many ants are wounded, and some wounds become infected and require an ant antibiotic treatment.

Healthy ants pick up their wounded comrades and carry them back to the nest to treat their infected wounds. The ants create an antibiotic substance in a gland on the side of their thorax. Researchers found that the wound treatment reduced mortality rate by 90%. Can humans learn from this ant antibiotic treatment?

Proverbs 6:6 says, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” The writer of Proverbs was primarily concerned with food gathering, but God programmed a set of survival instructions into the ant’s DNA. Researchers say that the primary pathogen in the ant’s wounds is a leading cause of infections in humans, so this study may lead to the development of improved antibiotics.

Humans have much to learn about maintaining our existence on Earth, and every form of life has secrets to teach us. Learning what God has built into life is essential to answer major questions of medical science.

— John N. Clayton © 2024