Scientists at the University of Sydney found that peptides in the marsupial's milk killed resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant golden staph bacteria and enterococcus that is resistant to the powerful antibiotic vancomycin.
The researchers turned to marsupials like the devil -- which carry their young in a pouch after birth to complete their development -- because of their biology.
The underdeveloped young have an immature immune system when they are born, yet survive growth in their mother's bacteria-filled pouch.
"We think this has led to an expansion of these peptides in marsupials," University of Sydney PhD candidate Emma Peel, who worked on the research published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, told AFP.
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