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Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Date:8/15/2011

. "While previous studies have validated that volatile thiosulfinates, a group of intermediate, unstable and volatile bioactive sulfur-containing compounds, have antimicrobial activity against Helicobacter pylori, our result demonstrated that the garlic-derived organosulfur compounds have the potential to be used as antimicrobial agents."

Campylobacter jejuni, the target microbe in this study, is thought to be the most prevalent cause of bacterial food-borne illness in the world, causing abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea accompanied by gross blood and leukocytes. There are no previous reported studies investigating the ability of allium species, including garlic, to control the growth of C. jejuni.

The history of using garlic to fight disease goes back several thousand years, says Lu. That history probably contributed to the notion that garlic could repel vampires, which predates Bram Stoker's Dracula, according to the website garlic-central.com. "In ancient society," says Lu, "people used garlic to cure diseases; however, they did not know why it worked." Now we are finding out.

(X. Lu, B.A. Rasco, J.M.F. Jabal, D.E. Aston, M. Lin, and M.E. Konkel, 2011. Investigating antibacterial effectxs of garlic (Allium sativum) concentrate and garlic-derived organosulfur compounds on Campylobacter jejuni by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and electron microscopy. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 77:5257-5269.)


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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

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