Plant Packs a Powerful Punch Against Superbugs


Berries from the Brazilian peppertree – commonly found in Florida and other parts of the south – may contain an extract with the ability to disarm dangerous antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria. The tree has been used for hundreds of years by Amazon healers to treat various skin infections. Researchers demonstrated its ability to inhibit skin lesions in mice infected with MRSA. Crucially, its mechanism of action represses the gene that allows the bacteria cells to communicate rather than outright killing the MRSA bacteria, and in doing so does not contribute to the evolution of deadly ‘super bugs'.