Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Could Be Killed Using Garlic, Researchers Find

REUTERS/Jason LeeA vendor removes the skin of garlic at a vegetable wholesale market in Beijing May 10, 2010.

Researchers have found garlic to help fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

According to the Daily Mail, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered that a compound found in garlic called ajoene helps subdue a certain gene that results in the elimination of a bacterial "biofilm." This vital disruption of the gene, which the microbes need in order to stick to human tissue, prevents the bacteria from reproducing.

In other words, the ajoene in the garlic aids in breaking down the bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. After that, the patient can resume taking antibiotics, which will now work to fight infections in the body.

The study is a huge development, and researchers hope to fight incurable cystic fibrosis and chronic wounds in diabetes patients with this new breakthrough. Other ailments that can be addressed are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (also known as MRSA) and other infections that do not respond to antibiotics.

"We really believe this method can lead to [the] treatment of patients who otherwise have poor prospects," said Tim Holm Jakobsen, the study author and professor at the University of Copenhagen.

"The two types of bacteria we have studied are very important. They are called Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The garlic compound is able to fight both at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibiotics," Jakobsen added.

The lead researcher also revealed that they are working together with a private company to develop garlic-based drugs, which will then be tested on patients. A patent involving the use of ajoene to combat bacterial infections was filed by the researchers in 2012. Pharmaceutical firm Neem Biotech bought the patent's license afterward. The company's drug, called NX-AS-401, will be tested in clinical studies over the next couple of years.

Garlic has long been touted as a superfood in the health industry. According to BBC Good Food, garlic has been linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as the risk of heart disease.

University of Copenhagen's findings has been published in the Nature Scientific Reports journal.