The latest talk in the local fishing industry has taken me by complete surprise. Simply put, “fish mucus” may be the newest promising antibiotic activity against such dangerous pathogens like MRSA.

As you know, current antibiotics are losing effectiveness against resistant pathogens, and scientists are looking at potential replacements in the most unlikely of places.

Researchers have found hope in the protective mucus that coats young fish. Some are calling this a potential goldmine.

In layman’s terms, the viscous or slimy substance in the mucus protects fish from bacteria, fungi and viruses in their environment that trap the bad microbes before they can enter and cause infections. The gooey stuff is also very rich in polysaccharides and peptides known to have positive antibacterial activity as well.

The next step is to figure out if whatever is in the mucus to protect the fish can also help protect humans. A bacteria from mucus derived from a particular pink perch showed strong activity against MRSA and a colon carcinoma cell line.

Principal investigator Sandra Loesgen at Oregon State University presented the latest findings at the recent meeting of the American Chemical Society in spring 2019’s national meeting and exposition in Orlando, Florida.

I’m also told that the study of fish mucus could help reduce the use of antibiotics in fish farming.

I like it when good, unexpected things happen. This is some of the best news I’ve heard from our waterfront. I’ll keep you posted with any further developments.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.