Amrita School of Biotechnology faculty and students recently published a journal paper titled “Clove Bud Oil Modulates Pathogenicity Phenotypes of the Opportunistic Human Pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa” in the high impact Nature publishing group’s Scientific Reports. This publication includes research done by a bright and talented group of Ph. D. students including first author Jayalekshmi H., Muralidharan Vanuopadath, and recently graduated Dr. Athira Omanakuttan along with M. Sc. student Nitasha Menon under the guidance of Dr. Geetha Kumar, Dr. Bipin Nair, and Dr. Sudarslal S. in collaboration with Dr. Victor Nizet and his lab at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

The looming global crisis of antibiotic resistance, along with the difficulty in treating recalcitrant infections, creates a critical need for new and intelligent therapeutic modalities and novel means to combat pathogens. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of secondary infections in immune-compromised patients and accounts for a significant percentage of total hospital-acquired infections. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa as a serious threat to global health. Through this study, Amrita researchers employed a two-pronged approach to testing the effect of clove bud oil on the virulence of P. aeruginosa as well as the effect of the natural product in enhancing the ability of the host to fight the infection.

All in all, this publication demonstrates that clove bud oil weakens key virulence mechanisms of this important human pathogen, while also enhancing host innate immunomodulatory functions. The authors also suggest a possible application of this work towards using clove bud oil as a topical therapy against antibiotic-resistant infections.

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