Essential oil helps kill drug-resistant bacteria
Essential oils may be key to treating antibiotic-resistant infections
The essential oil carvacrol—which can be derived from oregano—is being used to combat multidrug-resistant biofilm bacteria. The greasy nature of essential oils makes adhering to water-based bacterial environments a challenge, but research led by UMass Amherst's Vincent M. Rotello shows that engineered nanocomposites can transport this extract to the site and kill several strains of bacteria—including some commonly found in hospitals and a number that are multidrug-resistant strains. These 'nanosponges' effectively kill bacteria both in solutions and in biofilms. Since bacteria do not develop resistance towards these agents, they could prove to be a long-term solution to antibiotic-resistant infections.