A potent clot-busting substance originally extracted from the saliva of vampire bats may be used up to three times longer than the current stroke treatment window – without increasing the risk for additional brain damage, according to research reported in todays rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The vampire bat saliva-derived clot buster is called Desmodus rotundus salivary plasminogen activator (DSPA) or desmoteplase. DSPA targets and destroys fibrin, the structural scaffold of blood clots, says senior author Robert Medcalf, Ph.D. NH & MRC senior research fellow at Monash University Department of Medicine at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, Australia.
"When the vampire bat bites its victim, it secretes this powerful clot-dissolving (fibrinolytic) substance so that the victims blood will keep flowing, allowing the bat to feed," Medcalf explains.
Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
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