Tags: garlic | allicin | cystic | fibrosis | bacteria | infection

Garlic Fights Infections Tied to Cystic Fibrosis

By    |   Tuesday, 24 February 2015 04:11 PM

A garlic compound has been found to can kill bacteria that cause life-threatening lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis.

The new research, published in the Public Library of Science Journal PLOS One, is the first to show that the chemical — known as allicin — could be an effective treatment against a group of infectious bacteria highly resistant to most antibiotics.
Allicin is produced naturally by garlic bulbs to ward off plant pathogens found in soil and water habitats. Bacteria known as the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) can cause serious and often untreatable lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis.
But the new study, by University of Edinburgh scientists, found that allicin — extracted by crushing raw garlic — kills Bcc bacteria by chemically modifying key enzymes. The findings could open the door to allicin-containing remedies used in combination with existing antibiotics to treat Bcc infections.
"At a time when novel antimicrobial agents are urgently required, chemical and microbiological research has the potential to unlock the rich reservoir of antimicrobial compounds present in plants such as garlic,” said  John Govan, a professor at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Infectious Diseases, who co-led the study. “Allicin-containing compounds merit further investigation as adjuncts to existing treatments for infections caused by Bcc."
Dominic Campopiano, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Chemistry, noted garlic has long been used for thousands by traditional healers to treat illness, but has only recently been studied scientifically.
"The medicinal power of garlic has a rich history that dates back thousands of years but the chemical structure of allicin was only revealed in the 1940s,” he noted. “Our work suggests that modern methods should be used to further expand our knowledge of this enigmatic molecule and rejuvenate its potential applications."

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A garlic compound can kill bacteria that cause life-threatening lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis, according to new research.
garlic, allicin, cystic, fibrosis, bacteria, infection
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 04:11 PM
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