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Garlic a bio-terror for bacteria? ‘Beats anti-biotics in fighting food poisoning’

A key ingredient found in garlic can be 100 times more powerful than two popular antibiotics at fighting a type of bacteria that causes severe food poisoning,scientists have claimed.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: May 3, 2012 5:41:22 pm

A key ingredient found in garlic can be 100 times more powerful than two popular antibiotics at fighting a type of bacteria that causes severe food poisoning,scientists claimed.

Researchers at the Washington State University found that the compound,known as diallyl sulphide,can easily breach a slimy protective “biofilm” employed by the food bug that makes it harder to destroy.

Tests showed that the compound is not only more powerful than antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin,it also takes a fraction of the time to work.

The discovery,published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy,could open the door to new treatments for raw and processed meats and food making surfaces that would reduce the toll of Campylobacter food poisoning,the scientists said.

“This work is very exciting because it shows this compound has the potential to reduce disease- causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply,” study researcher Michael Konkel was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

According to Dr Konkel,Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of food-borne illness in the US and probably the world.

Symptoms of Campylobacter infection include diarrhoea,cramping,abdominal pain and fever.

The bacteria also triggers nearly a third of cases of a rare paralysing disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Most Campylobacter infections stem from eating raw or undercooked poultry or foods that have been cross-contaminated via dirty surfaces and utensils.

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