Garlic compound fights food bug
A garlic ingredient is 100 times more powerful than two popular antibiotics at fighting one of the leading causes of food poisoning, say scientists.
The compound, diallyl sulphide, is able to pierce a protective "biofilm" employed by the food bug that makes it hard to destroy.
Tests showed diallyl sulphide was as effective as 100 times bigger doses of the antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin. It was also able to work in a fraction of the time taken by the drugs.
The discovery is said to open the door to new treatments for raw and processed meats, and food preparation surfaces.
"This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies," said researcher Dr Michael Konkel, from Washington State University in the US, who has been investigating Campylobacter for 25 years.
"Campylobacter is simply the most common bacterial cause of food-borne illness in the United States and probably the world."
Symptoms of Campylobacter infection include diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever.
The bacteria also trigger nearly a third of cases of a rare paralysing disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Most Campylobacter infections stem from eating raw or undercooked poultry or foods that have been cross-contaminated via dirty surfaces and utensils.
The research is published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.