Horseshoe crabs are used to kill of bacteria from injections and medical devices


Horseshoe Crabs are 450 million old creatures that are closer to arachnids than to crabs. Their blood, which costs about $15000/litre is used to sterilize syringes and other products. The pharmaceutical and medical device industries to ensure that their products ( intravenous drugs, vaccines, and medical devices) are free of bacterial contamination and thus they use an extract of the horseshoe crab’s blood because no other method is as reliable as this one.

Since the horseshoe crabs do not have an immune system they rely on a special protein from within their blue blood (they have hemocyanin with copper, instead of hemoglobin which uses iron) called coagulogen which binds to the invading organisms creating a barrier that prevents them from spreading in the body.

If you ever has to use injections, then the horseshoe crab’s blood might very well have cleared them form infections. Good to know!

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