Could a Phytochemical derived from Vegetables like Broccoli be the Answer to Antibiotic Resistant Pathogens

Researchers from Israel’s Ben-Gurion University investigate phythochemical derived from cruciferous vegetables that break down the biofilm that protect them from being eradicated by antibiotics.

Antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens are increasingly playing a role in rising illness and preventing wound healing, especially in hospitals. While more and more pathogens have developed biofilms that protect them from being eradicated by antibiotics, fewer classes of antibiotics are being developed. Researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev decided to go in a different direction and investigated a phytochemical derived from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli that breaks down the biofilm.

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds made by plants. The phytochemical 3,3′-diindolylmethane (DIM) successfully broke down the biofilms protecting two different important pathogens, including Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa – enabling their eradication 65% and 70% of the time, respectively. Combined with antibiotics, that number jumped to 94%.

Prof. Ariel Kushmaro, Dr. Karina Golberg, and his team, together with Prof. Robert Marks, all members of the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering​ at BGU, chronicled their findings in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceutics recently. Additionally, when they introduced DIM into an infected wound, it sped up the healing process significantly, the team found. “Our findings show promise for other avenues of research in addition to known classes of antibiotics,” says Prof. Kushmaro. Further development and commercialization of the technology are currently being undertaken at the startup company LifeMatters.

Additional researchers from Prof. Kushmaro’s lab included: Bat-el Kagan, Sigalit Barzanizan, Dr. Karin Yaniv, and Dr. Esti Kramarsky-Winter. They collaborated with researchers from Near East University and Girne American University in Cyprus. The research was supported by the National Institute for Biotechnology in Negev and Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Prof. Kushmaro is also a member of the Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change and the Ilse Katz Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

The Council for Higher Education of Israel launched the Study in Israel initiative to promote internationalization in the Israeli higher education system and attract international students. The initiative focuses on increasing awareness of Israel’s excellent academia and research while communicating the distinctive, engaged approach to education that Israel offers students. Through “Study in Israel,” students from all over the world are invited to “Engage in Excellence.” For further information, log onto –

This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as a Press Release.
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