Garlic offsets effects of virulent bacterial strains

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 11:04

Washington: A new study has revealed that garlic contains a substance that is particularly effective in encounters with even the hardiest bacterial strains.

"We know that there is a potent chemical compound in the garlic plant that neutralises resistant bacteria by paralysing their communication system. My PhD thesis demonstrates that ajoene - the substance present in garlic - specifically prevents the bacteria from secreting the toxin rhamnolipid which destroys white blood cells in the body," Tim Holm Jakobsen from University of Copenhagen said.

The researcher said that ajoene supports and improves treatment with conventional antibiotics.

"We have clearly demonstrated this on biofilm cultivated in the laboratory and in trials involving mice. When we add antibiotics to biofilm they have very little effect, and ajoene alone barely makes any difference. It is only when the two are combined that something significant happens," Tim Holm Jakobsen explained.

Combination treatment with ajoene and antibiotics kills more than 90 per cent of the normally virulent biofilm.

From a technical perspective, the ajoene blocks the communication system - known as Quorum Sensing - in the bacteria, which is used for purposes including creating infection.


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First Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - 11:03

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