MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Microbes After Hours

MW-Site-Banner-200x200

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Featured Image

Featured Video

Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Garlic Constituent Blocks Biofilm Formation, Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients and Others

E Pluribus Unum, the de facto motto of the United States, could just as well apply to biofilm-forming bacteria. Bacterial biofilms are far more resistant than individual bacteria to the armories of antibiotics we have devised to combat them. Now Tim Holm Jakobsen and Michael Givskov of the University of Copenhagen, and their many collaborators have pinpointed a constituent of garlic that attacks a key step in the development of biofilms, in an effort they hope may offer help in particular for patients with cystic fibrosis.

The research is published in the May 2012 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

In earlier work, Givskov and his colleagues showed that "crude extracts of garlic inhibit the expression of a large number of genes that are controlled by bacterial quorum sensing [communication among bacterial cells involved in biofilm development], and that extracts promote a rapid clearing of pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in mice," he says. "These findings encouraged us to identify and assess the efficacy of the pure active compound."

That compound turned out to be ajoene, the major constituent of a multitude of sulfur-containing compounds produced when garlic is crushed, says Jakobsen. The team then showed in P. aeruginosa that ajoene inhibits expression of 11 genes that are controlled by quorum sensing. "These key genes are regarded as crucial for the ability of P. aeruginosa to cause disease," he says.
 
 

Comments (0)

Collections (0)

 

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use