Lifewatch: Alligator Blood

WILMINGTON -- Alligators live in one of the nastiest nooks in nature, but still seem to survive under the roughest conditions.

Alligators live in the murky waters of Carolina lakes and rivers, and are known for their aggressive attitude.

Their stocky shells and meaty core are often hunted as wild game, but scientists have discovered the reptiles have an interesting make up.

It's usual, but scientists think alligator blood could be the secret to fighting some serious infections in humans.

Alligators get into a lot of fights that result in bruises and lost limbs.  Somehow they hardly ever get infected.

Louisiana State University doctoral student Lancia Darville and a researcher from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, have found the secret that runs though gator's vicious veins.

Now, alligator blood is being used in a study to fight infections in human beings.

In preliminary studies, 23 different strands of bacteria were exposed to alligator serum.  Every case was successful in fighting off the germs.

Darville said chemists are attempting to create that same compound to ward off viruses in humans.  She also warns that not everything in a gator's make up is safe for humans.

According to Darville, researchers have found that some levels of the alligator serum can be toxic in humans.

Reported by Kristy Ondo