Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Garlic Compound Effective Against Killer MRSA ‘Superbugs’ – New Evidence

23.12.2003


A compound extracted from garlic is effective against even the most antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA, the killer ‘hospital superbug’, and can cure patients with MRSA-infected wounds within weeks, according to new research by microbiologist Dr Ron Cutler of the University of East London (UEL).


Garlic bulb



In a paper to be published in the New Year, Dr Cutler, an expert in the antimicrobial properties of plant extracts, claims that allicin - a compound that occurs naturally in garlic – kills not only established varieties of MRSA, but also destroys the new generation of ‘super-superbugs’ that have evolved resistance to Vancomycin and Glycopeptides, the powerful antibiotics widely considered to be the last line of defence against MRSA.

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) now causes an estimated 2,000 deaths in UK hospitals each year mainly through secondary infection of surgical wounds. Though MRSA organisms can live harmlessly in humans and are carried in the nasal passages and on the skin, they can cause fatal infection in immune-suppressed patients, the elderly, the young and those with surgical implants.


Doctors have become increasingly alarmed over the past few months by the emergence in UK hospitals of new generations of resistant strains of MRSA known as VISAs, and GISAs (Vancomycin or Glycopeptide resistant Staphylococcus aureus). MRSA has also become endemic in many hospitals, especially in London and the South-East, prompting the NHS to review its hygiene procedures.

Dr Cutler, recently proved that allicin destroys the MRSA microbe in laboratory trials, has now teamed up with a new company, Allicin International, to develop topical treatments to prevent MRSA infection. The group have developed a nasal cream, oral capsules and soaps that have proved effective against both MRSA and GISA.

In partnership with colleagues in the NHS, Dr Cutler is now embarking on a major clinical trial involving around two hundred volunteers, including patients at several hospitals in London and the South East.

Dr Cutler said: "The trials we have conducted so far show that this formulation is highly effective against MRSA, and it could save many lives. This finding is backed up by initial findings a number of recent case studies. We have been trying to set up a clinical trial for many months now, and at last we have secured funding from sources including Allicin International.

“MRSA is causing a genuine crisis in our hospital system in Britain and worldwide. Antibiotics are increasingly ineffective, but we do have a powerful natural ally. Plant compounds have evolved over millions of years as chemical defence agents against infection. Garlic has been used in medicine for centuries, and it should be no surprise that it is effective against this very modern infection.”

The research on the laboratory effects of allicin on GISA was presented in part at the Institute of Biomedical Scientists congress in Birmingham, October 2003, and is being prepared for publication in the Journal of Biomedical Science, to appear in the New Year. A full clinical study involving the use of allicin to reduce nasal carriage in healthy volunteers, including in hospitals in London and South East England, is underway and initial results are due to be published in summer 2004.

Case Study: Deborah’s story
Deborah Brown (34), a probation service officer who lives in Rainham, Kent, contracted MRSA after a major spinal operation in November 2000.

The painful wounds on her spine failed to heal despite constant applications of both oral antibiotics and creams, which also failed to reduce the levels of MRSA in her tissue.

In December 2002, Deborah’s mother Pauline contacted Dr Cutler after seeing an item on TV about MRSA and received a course of Allimax cream and capsules by post. Within two months, the MRSA had mostly cleared from Deborah’s tissues and the wounds had begun to heal, allowing an operation to remove her spinal supports to be carried out in June 2003.

Deborah said: “The effect of the treatment was dramatic - I am making a good recovery now – but it was really awful at the time. Having weeping wounds on my back that never healed for two years was incredibly painful, and I became increasingly depressed as the MRSA didn’t respond to repeated courses of antibiotics. If my case helps to show that allicin works against MRSA then I am glad that something good might come of it.”

Patrick Wilson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uel.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Fiber optic biosensor-integrated microfluidic chip to detect glucose levels
29.04.2016 | The Optical Society

nachricht Got good fat?
27.04.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

Im Focus: New world record for fullerene-free polymer solar cells

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This work is about avoiding costly and unstable fullerenes.

Polymer solar cells can be even cheaper and more reliable thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Linköping University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin glass is up and coming

As one of the leading R&D partners in the development of surface technologies and organic electronics, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP will be exhibiting its recent achievements in vacuum coating of ultra-thin glass at SVC TechCon 2016 (Booth 846), taking place in Indianapolis / USA from May 9 – 13.

Fraunhofer FEP is an experienced partner for technological developments, known for testing the limits of new materials and for optimization of those materials...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Winds a quarter the speed of light spotted leaving mysterious binary systems

29.04.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Fiber optic biosensor-integrated microfluidic chip to detect glucose levels

29.04.2016 | Health and Medicine

A cell senses its own curves: New research from the MBL Whitman Center

29.04.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>