As seen in vampire films blood goes on flowing from the bitten site. That may be because of prevention of clotting, surely due to some blood thinning agent.
That has enthused scientist to isolate the chemical desmoteplase, which can be helpful for stroke patients.
Vampire bat saliva breaks up blood clots
A new national study is underway to see if a compound extracted from their saliva can actually help patients survive a stroke.
Someone in the US suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Right now, doctors only have a 3-hour window to treat stroke patients before blood clots clog blood vessels in the brain.
Blocking blood and oxygen flow can cause permanent brain damage, paralysis, speech problems, and even death. A blood-clot buster called rt-PA has to be administered during those 3 hours or else it would cause brain damage.
Lo and behold, vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) saliva could extend that treatment window, reducing the severity of a stroke.
Doctors at Ohio State University hope to extend it up to 9 hours by using a chemical isolated from vampire bat saliva that can quickly dissolve clots.
Vampire bats feed off the blood of their prey, and their little trick for keeping the blood thin and flowing is an anti-coagulant in their bite. It’s an enzyme called desmoteplase (DSPA).
Scientists discovered the medicinally promising bat compound back in 1998. They named it… Draculin.
Now, in this new phase 2 study involving hospitals around the country, researchers want to see if bat saliva-inspired medications actually afford doctors more time to treat strokes and help with human patient outcomes.