|Barbour's thin-toed frog (Leptodactylus insularum). Photo by Renoir Auguste|
Frogs are vitally important to ecosystems, and to people. Their importance in ecosystems stems from the roles they play acting as predator and prey to a variety of animals. Their ecological importance also benefits people, as frogs prey on insects, including pests to crops and mosquitoes. However frogs also play an important role in medicinal values. In particular, the peptides in frog skin secretions have been used to treat diseases, for example diabetes.
Trinidad and Tobago has at least 35 species of frogs (amphibians). Thus far, at least two frog species have shown to have peptides useful for medicine, including the paradoxical frog (Pseudis paradoxa), and the Trinidad leaf-nesting frog (Phyllomedusa trinitatis). Now, two more species can be added to the list. A recent published study by Barran and colleagues (2020) found antimicrobial resistant properties in two species. These are the Trinidadian thin-toed frog (Leptodactylus nesiotus), and Barbour's thin-toed frog (Leptodactylus insularum).
Barran and colleagues' study further exemplifies the importance of conserving frogs in Trinidad and Tobago, and all citizens should do their part by learning more about them, and conserving them for generations to come.
Citation: Barran, G.; Kolodziejek, J.; Coquet, L.; Leprince, J.; Jouenne, T.; Nowotny, N.; Conlon, J.M.; Mechkarska, M. Peptidomic Analysis of Skin Secretions of the Caribbean Frogs Leptodactylus insularum and Leptodactylus nesiotus (Leptodactylidae) Identifies an Ocellatin with Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Activity. Antibiotics 2020, 9, 718.
Link to paper here: pdf