Ants Recognize Infected Wounds and Treat Them With Antibiotics
Published:30 Jan.2024    Source:University of Würzburg
The Matabele ants (Megaponera analis), which are widespread south of the Sahara, have a narrow diet: They only eat termites. Their hunting expeditions are dangerous because termite soldiers defend their conspecifics -- and use their powerful mandibles to do so. It is therefore common for the ants to be injured while hunting.
If the wounds become infected, there is a significant survival risk. However, Matabele ants have developed a sophisticated healthcare system: they can distinguish between non-infected and infected wounds and treat the latter efficiently with antibiotics they produce themselves.

This is reported by a team led by Dr Erik Frank from Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg and Professor Laurent Keller from the University of Lausanne in the journal Nature Communications.< style="display:none" href="">