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Chestnut extract as an antibiotic alternative
For years, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) have been warning of the rise in antibiotic resistance. Numerous research laboratories worldwide are looking for alternatives to common medicines. Scientists from the USA have now been able to achieve impressive results with ingredients from sweet chestnuts.
Antibiotic resistance has been warned for years
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) have long warned of the progression of antibiotic resistance. In the past, such drugs were mostly the first choice for diseases such as pneumonia or cystitis, many of them are hardly effective today. The WHO had even warned a few months ago that a post-antibiotic era without weapons against infections could be imminent. Numerous scientists worldwide are looking for alternatives. At the end of last year, researchers from Switzerland reported that they could use liposomes to develop a possible alternative to antibiotics. And American scientists have now reported promising results with chestnuts.
Chestnut extract as a possible antibiotic alternative
Now scientists around Cassandra Quave from Emory University in Atlanta have high hopes for the ingredients of the sweet chestnut. In the journal "PLOS ONE", the researchers write that they were able to prove that an extract from the plant not only combats MRSA germs, but also prevents the development of resistance. According to the information, the extract consists of 94 different ingredients, mostly from components based on ursans and oleanans, which belong to the so-called saponins. These substances probably serve as a defense against plants, for example against fungal attack or insects.
Not harmful to human skin
Together with her colleague Alexander Horswill from the University of Iowa, Quave was able to show in the study that the extract deprives the bacteria of the species Staphylococcus aureus of their ability to communicate with each other. This completely blocks toxin production. A single 50-microgram dose of the drug was enough to heal germ-infected wounds on the skin of mice, the researchers reported. According to the information, the extract did not lose activity over time, nor did the pathogens become resistant. As tests on human skin cells showed, the substances are not harmful to the skin. The scientists have already applied for a patent. They hope that one day the sweet chestnut extract will be recognized as a medicine and can help people. (ad)