Garlic can fight chronic infections

An active sulphurous compound found in garlic can be used to fight robust bacteria in patients with chronic infections, a new study from the University of Copenhagen indicates. Here the researchers show that the garlic compound is able to destroy important components in the bacteria's communication systems, which involve regulatory RNA molecules.

'We really believe this method can lead to treatment of patients, who otherwise have poor prospects. Because chronic infections like cystic fibrosis can be very robust. But now we, together with a private company, have enough knowledge to further develop the garlic drug and test it on patients', says Assistant Professor Tim Holm Jakobsen from the Costerton Biofilm Center at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.

The study is the latest addition from a research group headed by Professor Michael Givskov, which since 2005 has focussed on garlic's effect on bacteria. At the time they learned that garlic extract is able to inhibit bacteria, and in 2012 they showed that the sulphurous compound ajoene found in garlic is responsible for the effect. The new study, which has been published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports, takes an even closer look and documents ajoene's ability to inhibit small regulatory RNA molecules in two types of bacteria.

'The two types of bacteria we have studied are very important. They are called Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They actually belong to two very different bacteria families and are normally fought using different methods. But the garlic compound is able to fight both at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibiotics', says Tim Holm Jakobsen.

Previous studies have shown that garlic appears to offer the most powerful, naturally occurring resistance to bacteria. In addition to inhibiting the bacteria's RNA molecules, the active garlic compound also damages the protective slimy matrix surrounding the bacteria, the so-called biofilm. When the biofilm is destroyed or weakened, both antibiotics and the body's own immune system are able to attack the bacteria more directly and thus remove the infection.

In 2012 the researchers took out a patent on the use of ajoene to fight bacterial infections. Now the company Neem Biotech has bought the licence to use the patent. Their medical product, NX-AS-401, which aims to treat patients with cystic fibrosis, has now obtained a so-called 'orphan drug designation'. This means that clinical trials on patients will be conducted soon.

If the clinical trials show good results, the drug can be marketed as the first in a series of antimicrobial connections with brand new modes of action developed by Givskov's research team.

Tim H Jakobsen, Anders N Warming, Rebecca M Vejborg, Joana A Moscoso, Marc Stegger, Frederik Lorenzen, Morten Rybtke, Jens B Andersen, Rico Petersen, Paal Skytt Andersen, Thomas E Nielsen, Tim Tolker-Nielsen, Alain Filloux, Hanne Ingmer, Michael Givskov.
A broad range quorum sensing inhibitor working through sRNA inhibition.
Scientific Reports 7, 9857 (2017). doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-09886-8.

Most Popular Now

FDA grants priority review to Roche's cancer immun…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company's supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) a...

Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel), first-in-class CAR-T …

Novartis today announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel) suspension for intravenous infusion for its second indication ...

Daily aspirin linked to higher risk in men

Men who take once-daily aspirin have nearly double the risk of melanoma compared to men who are not exposed to daily aspirin, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. W...

New leads on treating dementia and Alzheimer's

A new research study by scientists in Australia and the US provides an explanation for why clinical trials of drugs reducing proteins in the brain that were thought to ca...

Roche reports a strong start in 2018

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) has announced that in the first three months of 2018, Group sales rose 6% to CHF 13.6 billion. Sales in the Pharmaceuticals Division in...

To treat pain, you need to treat the patient

People in chronic pain are some of the most difficult patients to treat. They have complex circumstances that medicine can't always remedy. Pain can be amplified, by depr...

Novo Nordisk participates in new research project …

Within the newly started European research project Hypo-RESOLVE, 23 leading international players from academia, industry and civil society have joined forces to find bet...

Chemical octopus catches sneaky cancer clues, trac…

Cancer drops sparse chemical hints of its presence early on, but unfortunately, many of them are in a class of biochemicals that could not be detected thoroughly, until n...

Alcon Cares Project 100 commits to reducing catara…

Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, has announced Alcon Cares Project 100, which aims to reduce cataract blindness by providing equipment to ...

FDA approves novel preventive treatment for migrai…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Aimovig (erenumab-aooe) for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. The treatment is given by once-monthly se...

First clues to the causes of multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, which affects 1 in 1,000 people, is frequently characterised by relapses associated with variable functional impairments including among others vision...

Doctors in US and Canada launch sweeping pharmaceu…

The skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs is one of the biggest concerns for American voters. However, in his proposal last Friday, President Donald Trump failed to off...