According to the study published in the journal Microbiology, cinnamaldehyde, a component of cinnamon essential oil can help fight superbugs by inhibiting the development of even those bacteria that resist the most potent antibiotics. With most viral infections becoming resistant, the researchers found that cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon's unique taste, can be used to develop alternatives to alternatives to antibiotics, to treat chronic biofilm-mediated superbugs. As per the researchers, though many previous studies have reported anti-microbial activity of cinnamon essential oil, it is not widely used in pharmaceutical industry.
The researchers aimed to search for the molecular activity of this oil, focusing on its major component, cinnamaldehyde. This is the compound that gives cinnamon its flavour. There is an urgent need to develop alternatives to antibiotics to treat chronic biofilm mediated infections, such as may occur with urinary catheters and artificial joints.
The researchers said that humans have a long history of using natural products to treat infections and there is a renewed focus on such antimicrobial compounds. Natural products may offer a promising solution to this problem. For the study, rather than killing the bacteria, the researchers looked to modify the behaviour of bacteria by disrupting bacterial communication to prevent the development of biofilm. The researchers hypothesised that using natural antimicrobials, such as essential oils, might interfere in biofilm formation. Thus, we focused on the impact of different concentrations of cinnamaldehyde in different biofilm development stages.
The results showed a sub-lethal concentration of cinnamaldehyde controlled the dispersion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the development of biofilm.