Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in the medical field, and alternatives to traditional antibiotics are needed. Some of these alternatives are newly discovered, and some were discovered long ago and seemingly forgotten.
A study led by Emory University is looked back to a Civil War era guide to traditional plant remedies, which was commissioned when front line doctors were running short on conventional medicines and looking for local alternatives. The current study focused on three promising plants from this guide, white oak, tulip poplar and the devil’s walking stick.
The researchers were able to show that these three plants had antimicrobial properties when used against three known wound-infecting bacteria, which are known to be resistant to multiple existing antibiotics. Extracts from white oak and tulip poplar were able to interfere with Staphylococcus aureus’ ability to produce a protective biofilm layer. White oak extracts were also able to inhibit growth of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Aceinetobacter baumannii. Devil’s walking stick extracts were able to prevent Staphylococcus aureus from developing a biofilm, but also were able to ‘disarm’ the bacteria by blocking a signaling system in the bacteria that makes the bacteria more virulent.
While this study shows early promise, before these plants can be used as standard treatments for bacterial infections and wound care further studies will be required to determine exactly which compounds are antimicrobial.
Source: Science Daily
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