Exploration of the effects of allicin on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus in an in vivo mouse model
The antimicrobial properties of allicin, while long known, require further investigation in order to evaluate this garlic-derived chemical as an anti-infective agent against Staphylococcus aureus wound infection. S. aureus is well adapted to live on skin as either normal flora or as a pathogen. Indeed, it is carried as normal flora by approximately one-third of all people. Thus, there is an important ongoing clinical problem with wound infection by this pathogen. Compounding this problem is the fact that antibiotics continue to lose their effectiveness against pathogenic staph strains. This has motivated us to explore alternative methods to deal with this common clinical problem and allicin quickly emerged as an agent worthy of testing in a standardized wound infection model. In this model, 6-8 week old BALB/c female mice were employed to evaluate allicin when topically applied to an S. aureus infection of the epicutaneous layer of mouse ear tissue. Using this model, we followed wound progression in the presence of low and high levels of a commercial preparation of allicin applied at the wound site, and compared that to uninfected and untreated controls. We followed the progression of this infection in several ways: visually (by periodic photography of the wound site) and by histologic staining and microscopic analysis of wound tissue. These forms of analysis served as the basis for determining whether allicin is effective at controlling wound infection and may be useful in designing more effective control of such wound infections in the future.
Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Biological Sciences