Garlic compound effective against MRSA ‘superbug’

Dec 12, 2002 (London, England, United Kingdom) A team of researchers led by Dr Ron Cutler at the University of East London (UEL) has discovered that allicin, a compound that occurs naturally in garlic, is highly effective against MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant ‘superbug’ responsible for increasing numbers of deaths in UK hospitals.

Laboratory tests on thirty strains of MRSA isolated from London hospitals showed that allicin killed the bacteria at concentrations as low as 250ppm. Dr Cutler presented these findings at the Interscience Congress of Antimicrobial Agents in Chemotherapy (ICAAC) conference in Chicago.

The team has developed a a stable pure form of the compound to be applied as a topical cream to the skin and nostrils, and dermatological tests have shown that there are no adverse reactions. Clinical trials begin at in the New Year at hospitals in the South East.

Dr Cutler said: “The trials we have conducted so far show that this formulation is highly effective against MRSA, and it could save many lives. The initial trials are targeted at stopping the carriage and spread of MRSA within hospitals.”


The University of East London is a modern university at the forefront of academic innovation. Its mission is to provide the highest possible quality of education, training, research and consultancy to meet the needs of individuals, communities and enterprises in our region.

Patrick Wilson, Press Officer, UEL 020 8223 2061

Avatar Written by University of East London

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