In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen use a compound from garlic to destroy biofilm of resistant bacteria and make antibiotics work again. The study shows that the compound inhibits small regulatory RNA molecules.
An active sulphurous compound found in garlic can be used to fight robust bacteria in patients with chronic infections, a new study from the University of Copenhagen indicates. Here the researchers show that the garlic compound is able to destroy important components in the bacteria’s communication systems, which involve regulatory RNA molecules.
’We really believe this method can lead to treatment of patients, who otherwise have poor prospects. Because chronic infections like cystic fibrosis can be very robust. But now we, together with a private company, have enough knowledge to further develop the garlic drug and test it on patients’, says Assistant Professor Tim Holm Jakobsen from the Costerton Biofilm Center at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.
The study is the latest addition from a research group headed by Professor Michael Givskov, which since 2005 has focused on garlic’s effect on bacteria. At the time they learned that garlic extract is able to inhibit bacteria, and in 2012 they showed that the sulphurous compound ajoene found in garlic is responsible for the effect. The new study, which has been published in the scientific journal Nature Scientific Reports, takes an even closer look and documents ajoene’s ability to inhibit small regulatory RNA molecules in two types of bacteria.
‘The two types of bacteria we have studied are very important. They are called Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They actually belong to two very different bacteria families and are normally fought using different methods. But the garlic compound is able to fight both at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibiotics’, says Tim Holm Jakobsen.
If the clinical trials show good results, the drug can be marketed as the first in a series of antimicrobial connections with brand new modes of action developed by Givskov’s research team.
Source: Health Sciences