A waxy monkey tree frog is weighed in a measuring device during a photocall to publicize the annual measuring of all the animals at the London Zoo, in central London, Aug. 21, 2013. A particular kind of frog from the South Indian jungle has mucus that could be used to cure influenza, a study finds. Reuters

A possible new component used to cure the flu was discovered by scientists – and the medicinal component comes from a frog’s mucus.

Scientists from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, discovered that a colorful frog called Hydrophylax bahuvistara, a rare amphibian that can be found in the South Indian jungle, secretes a mucus that could be used in a new class of drugs, Phys.org reported Tuesday.

The frogs contain “defense peptides” that could be used to combat multiple strains of flu viruses and still protect cells. The peptides, which can neutralize viruses and bacteria, are found in the mucus of the frogs’ skin, according to CNN. The team named the newly discovered peptide urumin.”

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“We have identified a potential new treatment for H1N1 human influenza virus, which is a peptide that comes from the skin of a frog from southern India,” an associate professor from the Emory University School of Medicine’s microbiology and immunology department and study lead, Joshy Jacob, said via CNN.

“This peptide works by directly killing the virus, and it is specific for all influenza viruses that have a H1 type of hemagglutinin,” he said.

Jacob also revealed that he was surprised the study did not require thousands of drug candidates before the researchers found a lead.

“… here we did 32 peptides, and we had four hits,” Jacob said of finding fast results.

Medical experts have warned that humans are “due” for a deadly flu pandemic, a CNN chief medical correspondent reported earlier this month. To combat a potentially world-threatening flu virus, the writer and doctor advocates a faster cure.

“I have become convinced that if we can develop and deploy a pandemic flu vaccine just 24 weeks faster than is currently projected, the impact could change the course of human history,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote in the CNN piece published April 10.