As coronavirus vaccines continue to get pushed to the market, there is an unusual entity that some believe could hold a key ingredient to a COVID-19 vaccine.
The snakes produce substances in their glands that are useful for medical breakthroughs. The New York Post notes, “their abundance of squalene, a lipid produced by the body’s sebaceous glands have become a key ingredient in the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines.”
Squalene is naturally occurring in many plants and animals, including humans, and frequently used in skin care and cosmetics already as an emollient and skin-shielding antioxidant. In terms of its medicinal applications, scientists say that squalene facilitates our immune response to get the most out of vaccines — a therapeutic additive called an adjuvant.
“There’s some really healing properties in the snake,” said Dusty Crum, according to Tampa Bay’s Fox 13. “If you go back in traditional medicine, they’ve been using python and python components for thousands of years.”
And interestingly enough, one python can go a long way.
“A typical 12-foot python can make enough squalene for about 3,400 doses of vaccine,” said Daryl Thompson, spokesperson for Global Research and Discovery Group Sciences.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 28.2 million confirmed cases and 500,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.