Study: Shallot helps to enhance work of antibiotics

 21 Jan 2018 - 12:09

Study: Shallot helps to enhance work of antibiotics
Image used for representation.

QNA

London: The humble shallots could have a major impact in the fight against antibiotic resistance in cases of tuberculosis (TB), a study has suggested.

Researchers believe the antibacterial properties of the Persian shallot, a staple of Iranian cooking, could increase the effects of existing antibiotic treatment and reverse the tide of already existing drug resistance.

The ongoing study, led by Birkbeck, University of London and University College London (UCL), saw the research team conduct tests on four different synthesized compounds from the shallots.

They found all four showed a significant reduction in the presence of the bacteria in the multidrug-resistant TB, the most promising candidate of which inhibited growth of the isolated TB cells by more than 99.9%.

The team concluded that the chemical compounds may work as templates for the discovery of new drug treatment to combat strains of TB, which have previously developed resistance to anti-bacterial drugs.

Dr Bhakta said: "Despite a concerted global effort to prevent the spread of tuberculosis, approximately 10 million new cases and two million deaths were reported in 2016.

"As many as 50 million people worldwide are currently infected with multi-drug resistant TB, which means its vital to develop new antibacterial.

Nature is an amazingly creative chemist and it is likely that plants such as the Persian shallot produce these chemicals as a defense against microbes in their environment.

Medical experts said these drugs are being used too much, and that 25,000 people die across Europe each year because of drug-resistant infections.

Researchers said they hope the molecules, which were tested in a laboratory, could be combined with existing antibiotics to form new anti-TB drugs.