Isn’t Spring just the best? Flowers are blooming, the sun is out longer, and the temperature is just right. With Spring also comes something else that is a big deal: pollen. Yes, Spring fever brings the dreaded allergy season with some of us sneezing nearly every five minutes. Don’t let the sniffles get you down! Even though you may feel like you’re dying from all the mucous streaming from your nostrils, we have some great news that might make you feel a little better about your nose. Scientists have recently discovered that the human nose, particularly the mucus, could hold the key to curing potentially life threatening diseases. That’s right, you may be one of the few people that has a super nose.

Although the term “super nose” is meant to be facetious, the concept itself is not. In 2016, scientists did develop a new antibiotic which they named lugdunin that was used to cure rats from the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus is actual not even harmful to everyone. In fact, about 30% of the population lives with the bacterium in their noses without having any problems. There is a strain that is found within the bacterium called MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), however, that has proven to be deadly for about 11,000 Americans a year once it enters into the blood stream. Andreas Peschel and colleagues at the University of Tübingen in Germany reported that this new antibiotic has the potential to fight off the deadly infection.

To get a better understanding of how the lugdinin works, you first need to know what’s going on in your nose. Essentially, researchers believe that there is a constant battle occurring in your nose among the different bacteria that reside in it. Like people, they are fighting for control over resources. Lugdinin was created from the bacterium S. lugdunensis which is present in about 9% of people’s noses. Using 187 hospital patients as guinea pigs, researchers discovered that those that had S. lugdunensis in their noses were six times less likely to carry the S. aureus. This suggested that the S. lugdunensis is able to combat and win against the S. aureus. To test the theory, the researchers used the synthesized version of the S. lugdunensis on the skin of rats that were infected with the MRSA strand. Just as they would have hoped, the rats were either completed cured of the MRSA or had it drastically reduced in their system.

Why is this study important? Simply put, this study brings light into a previously uncharted territory with regards to how antibiotics are developed. To date, most antibiotics we have come from bacteria in the soil. The fact that we may be able to look to other natural elements such as the human body as a source of producing antibiotics is not only exciting, but also brings about a few questions. What type of effect will completely eliminating a bacterium from the body have on someone? Will it cause an adverse reaction to the body in the long term? More tests will need to be done in order to find out for sure. However, there is one thing that is certain: you should never underestimate the power of your nose. It may be able to save a life someday.