Component of cinnamon oil can help treat certain bacterial infections

Researchers have found that a major component of cinnamon oil can help to clear certain bacterial infections.

Dr Sanjida Topa from Swinburne University of Technology, Australia, looked towards traditional medicine to treat bacterial infections. Dr Topa used cinnamaldehyde (CAD), a component of cinnamon essential oils.

In a paper published in Microbiology, researchers tested the ability of CAD to break up the protective layer which forms over Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.

The research found that CAD broke down 75.6% of P. aeruginosa biofilms. In addition to this, CAD also affected the formation of biofilms and the ability of the bacteria to spread. Dr Topa said, 'These findings definitely contribute to the search for novel antimicrobials.'

P. aeruginosa is a common cause of bacterial infection in immune-compromised patients, including those with cystic fibrosis, diabetes or cancer. During infection, the bacteria group together and form a protective layer known as a biofilm. Biofilms act as a shield against antibiotics and the immune system, making infections very difficult to clear.

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to increase, it is important that researchers find alternative ways to tackle bacterial infections. It is hoped that these findings will be useful in treating skin infections.

Dr Topa said, 'Fabrication of cinnamaldehyde for surface treatments, for example [to treat] skin infections, could be the first direct application.'

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