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Candler-McAfee, GA, United States

Nelson K.,Center for the Study of Human Health | Quave C.L.,Center for the Study of Human Health | Quave C.L.,Emory University

Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) forms organized biofilms to persist in the human nasopharynx. This persistence allows the pneumococcus to produce severe diseases such as pneumonia, otitis media, bacteremia and meningitis that kill nearly a million children every year. While bacteremia and meningitis are mediated by planktonic pneumococci, biofilm structures are present during pneumonia and otitis media. The global emergence of S. pneumoniae strains resistant to most commonly prescribed antibiotics warrants further discovery of alternative therapeutics. The present study assessed the antimicrobial potential of a plant extract, 220D-F2, rich in ellagic acid, and ellagic acid derivatives, against S. pneumoniae planktonic cells and biofilm structures. Our studies first demonstrate that, when inoculated together with planktonic cultures, 220D-F2 inhibited the formation of pneumococcal biofilms in a dose-dependent manner. As measured by bacterial counts and a LIVE/DEAD bacterial viability assay, 100 and 200 μg/ml of 220D-F2 had significant bactericidal activity against pneumococcal planktonic cultures as early as 3 h post-inoculation. Quantitative MIC's, whether quantified by qPCR or dilution and plating, showed that 80 μg/ml of 220D-F2 completely eradicated overnight cultures of planktonic pneumococci, including antibiotic resistant strains. When preformed pneumococcal biofilms were challenged with 220D-F2, it significantly reduced the population of biofilms 3 h post-inoculation. Minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC)50 was obtained incubating biofilms with 100 mg/ml of 220D-F2 for 3 h and 6 h of incubation. 220D-F2 also significantly reduced the population of pneumococcal biofilms formed on human pharyngeal cells. Our results demonstrate potential therapeutic applications of 220D-F2 to both kill planktonic pneumococcal cells and disrupt pneumococcal biofilms. © 2014 Talekar et al. Source

Soukand R.,Estonian Literary Museum | Pieroni A.,University of Gastronomic Sciences | Biro M.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Denes A.,Janus Pannonius Museum | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Fermented food and beverages represent an important part of the worldwide foodscape, medicinal food domain and domestic strategies of health care, yet relevant traditional knowledge in Europe is poorly documented. Methods: Review of primary ethnographic literature, archival sources and a few ad-hoc ethnobotanical field studies in seven selected Eastern European countries (Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Kosovo, and Poland) were conducted. Results: Current or recently abandoned uses of 116 botanical taxa, belonging to 37 families in fermented food or medicinal food products were recorded. These findings demonstrate a rich bio-cultural diversity of use, and also a clear prevalence of the use of fruits of the tannin- and phenolic-rich Rosaceae species in alcoholic, lactic- and acetic acid fermented preparations. In the considered countries, fermentation still plays (or has played until recent years) a crucial role in folk cuisines and this heritage requires urgent and in-depth evaluation. Discussion: Future studies should be aimed at further documenting and also bio-evaluating the ingredients and processes involved in the preparation of homemade fermented products, as this can be used to support local, community-based development efforts to foster food security, food sovereignty, and small-scale local food-based economies. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Quave C.L.,Emory University | Quave C.L.,Center for the Study of Human Health | Pieroni A.,University of Gastronomic Sciences
Journal of Ethnobiology

Traditional foodways are critical not only to food sovereignty in emerging and developing countries, but also to food security, eco-touristic development, small-scale food specialty markets, and local health strategies. We explore traditional knowledge concerning the fermentation of local plants (ethnozymology) for the production of medicinal and folk-functional foods perceived to have general health benefits. Field research was conducted in two Gorani communities in the mountains of NE Albania, located near the Kosovar border. Interviews were conducted with 44 study participants, and the fermentation of 15 plants for health purposes concerning disease prevention and health promotion was recorded. We discuss the role of fermentation in the production of local foods for health and its connections to community vitality and food security generally. © Society of Ethnobiology. Source

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