Interaction of South Asian spices with conventional antibiotics: Implications for antimicrobial resistance for Mycobacterium abscessus and cystic fibrosis.

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Interaction of South Asian spices with conventional antibiotics: Implications for antimicrobial resistance for Mycobacterium abscessus and cystic fibrosis.

Int J Mycobacteriol. 2018 Jul-Sep;7(3):257-260

Authors: Moore RE, Millar BC, Panickar JR, Moore JE

Abstract
Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has rendered certain species of Mycobacterium difficult to treat clinically, particularly, the nontuberculous Mycobacterium, Mycobacterium abscessus. This bacterium is emerging in specific disease populations, including amongst cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, where AMR represent a true treatment dilemma. Therefore, any innovation with traditional antimicrobial compounds in spices, which increases the potency of existing conventional antibiotics should be investigated.
Methods: M. abscessus isolates (n = 9 multidrug-resistant clinical isolates from CF patients + 1 Reference Strain) were examined for their direct susceptibility to 27 spices, as well as the interactive effect of this spice combination to their susceptibility to amikacin and linezolid antibiotic, with standard disk diffusion assay.
Results: Five isolates of M. abscessus (5/10; 50%) failed to grow on the spice enriched medium, which included four clinical isolates and the National Culture Type Collection (NCTC) Reference Strain. Of the remaining five isolates which grew on the spice medium, no cultural phenotypic differences were observed, compared to unsupplemented controls. In the case of both amikacin and linezolid, the zone of inhibition increased with the inclusion of the spices. Initially, all isolates of M. abscessus were fully resistant to linezolid (mean zone of inhibition = 0 mm), and growth was to the edge of the antibiotic disk, whereas when in the presence of spices, large zones of inhibition were observed (mean zone of inhibition = 33.3 mm). With amikacin, the mean zone of inhibition increased from 23.2 mm to 32.0 mm, in the presence of spices.
Conclusion: These data suggest that the spices were interacting synergistically with the antibiotics, thus making the antibiotic more potent against the bacteria tested. This study is significant as it demonstrates a positive interaction between spices and the conventional antimycobacterial antibiotics, amikacin, and linezolid. Given the burden of AMR to M. abscessus, particularly in a patient with chronic disease such as CF, any food-related innovation that can help maximize the potency of existing antimycobacterial antibiotics is to be encouraged and developed. The specific mechanism as to how spices increase the potency of such antibiotics with M. abscessus needs to be elucidated, as well as novel food (spice) delivery modalities developed, including novel medicinal foodstuffs or functional foods, that can harness this beneficial effect in vivo to medicine and society.

PMID: 30198506 [PubMed - in process]