Thursday, May 23, 2019

Civil War plant medicines blast drug-resistant bacteria

Micah Dettweiler gathered samples for the study from Lullwater Forest on the Emory campus. He began the project for his honors thesis as an Emory undergraduate majoring in biology.

During the height of the Civil War, the Confederate Surgeon General commissioned a guide to traditional plant remedies of the South, as battlefield physicians faced high rates of infections among the wounded and shortages of conventional medicines.

A new study of three of the plants from this guide — the white oak, the tulip poplar and the devil’s walking stick — finds that they have antiseptic properties. Scientific Reports published the results of the study led by scientists at Emory University. The results show that extracts from the plants have antimicrobial activity against one or more of a trio of dangerous species of multi-drug-resistant bacteria associated with wound infections: Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Read more about the study here.

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