Saturday, February 11, 2017
Brazilian peppertree Can knock out antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Scientists at Emory University have discovered that the red berries of the Brazilian peppertree ,a weedy, invasive species common in Florida contain an extract with the power to disarm dangerous antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. The journal Scientific Reports published the finding made in the Emory's Center for the Study of Human Health and in the School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology.Traditional healers in the Amazon have used the Brazilian peppertree for hundreds of years to treat infections of the skin and soft tissues. The researchers showed that a refined, flavone-rich composition extracted from the berries inhibits formation of skin lesions in mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus auereus (MRSA). The compound works not by killing the MRSA bacteria, but by repressing a gene that allows the bacteria cells to communicate with one another. Blocking that communication prevents the cells from taking collective action, a mechanism known as quorum quenching. The compound essentially disarms the MRSA bacteria, preventing it from excreting the toxins it uses as weapons to damage tissues, so the body's normal immune system then stands a better chance of healing a wound.