Preventing Bacterial Infections: One Plant Extract at a Time

Abstract

More than 80% of bacterial infections are caused by the formation of biofilms in the body (Sharma et al., 2019). These infections are becoming increasingly more difficult to treat or eradicate because of bacteria’s growing antibiotic resistance to current treatments. Biofilm formation is mediated by quorum sensing, a mechanism of bacterial communication. A new approach for combating biofilm formation, which could be a source for supplementary therapy through vitamins and minerals, targets the steps involved in quorum sensing. One way to inhibit biofilm formation is through the use of plant extracts and naturally occurring peptides (Ghosh et al., 2021). Specifically, our research was aimed at combating canine periodontal disease which is caused by both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Current approaches for treating this disease include adding thymoquinone, a seed extract, and nisin, a lantibiotic, to various bacterial strains. In this study, we proposed to research the effects of these naturally derived compounds on the biofilm formation of a model bacterial system called Vibrio harveyi. We hoped to understand the inhibiting mechanisms of these compounds and to uncover any synergistic effects when they are added together. We measured bacterial growth, bioluminescence and biofilm formation of Vibrio Harveyi in the presence of various concentrations of thymoquinone and nisin.

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