Antibiotic resistant Helicobacter pylori
With the increasing use of antibiotics for infections, many harmful bacteria are developing antibiotic resistance.
This means that some current drugs will lose effectiveness.
The solution is to create new drugs or find other ways to prevent and eliminate the infection.
Helicobacter pylori is no exception.
Half the world's population is infected
H. pylori bacteria is the most common infection in the world, affecting about half the world’s population.
It is associated with chronic gastritis, about 80% of peptic ulcers, and increases the risk of gastric cancer five-fold (Lam, Gastric Cancer–Where are we now?, Annals Academy Medicine Singapore, November 1999).
Scientists are working to develop effective ways to stop this bacteria.
Green tea improves antibiotic drugs
One study examined 56 strains of H. pylori, including 19 isolates highly resistant to two drugs.
Results showed that the bacteria, including the highly resistant strains were highly sensitive to antibacterial activity of two green tea catechin antioxidants, ECG and EGCG.
Additional experiments showed that when antibiotics such as amoxicillin, metronidazole, or clarithromycin were used in the presence of EGCG from green tea, their antibacterial activity was significantly enhanced and the effects were additive.
In other words, the drugs worked better when used with EGCG (Yanagawa, A combination effect of epigallocatechin gallate, a major compound of green tea catechins, with antibiotics on Helicobacter pylori growth in vitro, Current Microbiology, September 2003).
This is preliminary research, and further studies are needed to explore these drug-EGCG combinations.
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones on November 30, 2012
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