Most of the time, maple syrup is deliciously sloshed all over our pancakes.
However, a group of researchers at the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University, Canada (rather fitting given Canada’s love of the sticky stuff), have discovered another use for it.
Maple syrup can render bacteria more vulnerable to antibiotics.
The syrup, which is produced by concentrating the sap from North American maple trees, is a rich source of phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties.
And it is these antioxidant properties that prompted the team, led by Professor Nathalie Tufenkji, investigate the potential of maple syrup.
The team began by removing a concentrated extract from the syrup. They tested this extract on several infection-causing strains of bacteria, including E. coli and Proteus mirabilis (a common cause of urinary tract infection).
The syrup was mildly effective combating the bacteria on its own. However, once mixed with the antibiotics the maple syrup was particularly effective; seemingly synchronising its assault with the pharmaceutical ingredient.
Continue reading Maple syrup magnifies antibiotic attack (Day 336)
Our war against infection and disease is ongoing. New bacterial strains are consistently emerging and our current antibiotics are becoming less and less effective at fighting them.
Governments and researchers worldwide are searching for new methods to help deal with the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Chemical engineers from the University of Washington have proposed a strategy to block bacterial biofilms forming and thus keep the bacteria in their more readily treatable single-cell form.
Continue reading Blocking bacterial biofilms without antibiotics (Day 157)