A new study has discovered that a natural antioxidant – ECGC, commonly present in green tea, has the ability to lower the resistance to antibiotics. And can help in eliminating the antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The research team at the University of Surrey has revealed this significant health benefit of green tea. And the “Journal of Medical Microbiology” has published the study findings on September 16, 2019. Click here to read the complete research results.
Epigallocatechin gallate in the green tea
Green tea contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), that is helpful in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Globally, the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the serious threats to public health.
Dr. Jonathan Betts, Lead author and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey has said that the success of many medical therapies may get compromised without any effective antibiotic. So, there is an urgent need to develop new antibiotics for eliminating these resistant microbes.
The use of natural products, like ECGC in green tea, in combination with the currently licensed antibiotics, is quite helpful. As it is a way to improve the effectiveness and clinically useful lifespan of these antibiotics. The results of this study have shown that EGCG can restore the activity of aztreonam.
And can decrease the resistance to antibiotics. Aztreonam is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by pathogenic bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. That causes some serious infections in the respiratory tract and bloodstream. In the past few years, P. aeruginosa has developed resistance to many major classes of antibiotics.
And, a combination of different antibiotics is in use to fight infections caused by these bacteria. But now, scientists have observed that these bacteria are showing resistance to the last line of antibiotics. And it is becoming more difficult to treat infections caused by them.
Interaction of epigallocatechin and aztreonam with P. aeruginosa
The research team had performed in vitro tests to examine the interaction of ECCG and aztreonam with the bacterial pathogen P. aeruginosa. Whereas, the tests conducted had analyzed the synergy individually and in combination.
The results of the research had shown that the combination of EGCG and aztreonam was significantly more efficient in decreasing the number of P. aeruginosa than either agent alone. A similar synergistic response was also present in the in vivo testing.
The research team conducted these in vivo tests using Greater Wax Moth larvae – Galleria mellonella. And the survival rates were considerably higher in those treated with the combination in contrast to those treated with ECGC or aztreonam alone.
Additionally, little to no toxicity was present in the Galleria mellonella larvae and human skin cells. The research team believes that in P. aeruginosa, EGCG may lead to an increase in uptake of aztreonam. Whereas, it can do so by increasing the bacterial permeability.
Another possible mechanism that lowers the resistance to antibiotics is the interference of EGCG with a biochemical pathway related to antibiotic susceptibility. The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided the list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are causing a critical threat to human health. And the P. aeruginosa is one of them.
Overall, the finding of this study has proved that one can successfully eliminate threats due to AMR by using natural products, in combination with antibiotics that are already in use. In the future, the further discovery of these antibiotic alternatives can also allow their use in the clinical setting.