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Starting a new category to explore how to disable efflux pumps using natural substances. Simply put, the efflux pump is a pump that resides in most pathogenic organisms. Its job is to transport substances outside the cell and this includes substances that threaten its survival namely antibiotics but they also export immune factors such as defensins.
The pathogen can 'taste' the antibiotic and makes a memory of this substance so that when it is reintroduced, the pathogen simply pumps it out of the cell.
This is part of the antibiotic resistance that we hear about in the media. This is a relatively new discovery and medicine is making inroads on how to disable the pumps to allow antibiotics to penetrate and kill the organisms. I have seen first hand the power of these pumps when I had the pathogens on the run for them only to adapt and defeat the antibiotic.
There are many journal articles concerning the use of natural substances, namely herbs, to defeat the efflux pump. This category will explore those and possible other options.
Efflux is an important mechanism of resistance in many clinically relevant pathogens, notably, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[9,31] The efflux pumps (EPs) are proteins of bacterial membranes which extrude antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents from the cell. These EPs can transport drugs through the bacterial envelope and limit the intracellular accumulation of toxic compounds, such as antibiotics, antimicrobial peptides, metals and detergents. It has been reported that plants provide a rich source of efflux pumps inhibitors (EPIs).[19,30] Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel drugs with new modes of action, such as EPIs, to prevent the rise of MDR bacteria. EPI activities of natural compounds have been reported elsewhere.