Stop! Don’t toss out the black lip of that abalone you are cleaning-
IT MAY CURE HERPES!
|Friends cleaning abalone.
The blue blood of abalone found on its black lip may block herpes
|The 10″ abalone for which Abalone Bay is named|
Diving and harvesting the seabed delicacy, abalone, in the California Mendonoma coastline is a sport that many enjoy. In fact it is the reason we have our Sea Ranch oceanfront vacation rental which we aptly named Abalone Bay.
But did you know that the the protein that makes the abalone’s blood blue can also be used to combat common cold sores and related herpes?
These small to very large edible sea snails contain potent anti-viral properties and chemical engineers in collaboration with virologists at the University of Sydney have identified how these properties block the herpes virus ‘s entry into cells.
The research began by accident, after the warts on a fish processor’s hands started to heal themselves after he’d spent a month working with the Tasmanian blacklip abalone around a decade ago.
After investigating what caused the warts to clear up, scientists from the University of Sydney and Marine Biotechnologies Australia found that a Tasmanian abalone protein known as hemocyanin has potent anti-viral properties.
The raw material for the research came from the blood of black lip abalone found in pristine bays along the Tasmanian coastline.
“Hemocyanins are giant copper-containing glycoproteins and their primary function is to collect and deliver oxygen to desired tissues. Our study shows that abalone hemocyanin inhibits herpes simplex infection,” Fariba Dehghani, a bioengineer from the University of Sydney, explained in a press release.
“We know once infection occurs the virus integrates itself into a body’s nerve cells where it lays dormant awaiting reactivation. When awakened it travels back along the nerve tracks to the surface where it takes the form of watery blisters and ulcers on the skin,” she said.
The researchers are now developing a drug based on the protein that will not only manage the symptoms of herpes, as current drugs do, but actually reduce the recurrence of the virus and speed up healing.
If successful, the drug could lead to a whole new class of anti-viral compounds.
Researchers have been studying abalone’s blue blood for a decade.
“Ten years ago we were involved in an abalone serum trial relating to cancer treatments. During the clinical tests where patients drank a processed form of Abalone blood they reported a much lower incidence in their cold sore breakouts,” says Mr Cutherbertson.
Currently more than 70 percent of Australians carry the herpes simplex 1 virus, which causes cold sores, while 13 percent carry herpes simplex 2, which can cause genital herpes. Although there are medications to help shorten the length of flair-ups of the virus, there are currently no known treatments that can kill it.