Danish researchers have discovered a natural substance in avocado plants found in a Chilean rainforest that may offer a new line of assault against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
Reporting in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, University of Copenhagen researchers said the compound targets a common drug-resistant staph infection that frequently does not respond to other treatments.
Dr. Jes Gitz Holler, lead researcher and study author, said the substance is found in an avocado plant from the Persea family, in Chile, where the Mapuche people have traditionally used its leaves to heal wounds. He said the compound could be developed into a drug used in combination with antibiotics to fight resistant bacterial infections.
"The natural compound has great potential and perhaps in the longer term can be developed into an effective drug to combat resistant staphylococci,” he said.
Yellow staph – Staphylococcus aureus – is the most common cause of infection in wounds from an operation. It can also cause many diseases, from abscesses and food poisoning to life-threatening infections.