Israeli scientists have developed a new probiotic yogurt-based treatment for cholera, as well as other infectious diseases and inflammations, Ben Gurion University (BGU) in southern Israel said on Friday.
In a study, published in the journal Microbiome, BGU scientists have identified new drug candidates based on molecules isolated from probiotic yogurt for combating pathogenic bacteria and for treating various inflammatory conditions.
The researchers isolated molecules secreted by yeast in kefir, which is a fermented probiotic dairy yogurt drink made by inoculating milk with yeast and bacteria.
Then, the scientists showed that the molecules have significant potential to combat pathogenic bacteria, by significantly reducing the virulence of the Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which causes cholera.
The anti-bacterial effect was based on disrupting communication among the bacterial cells and interfering in the assembly of bacterial aggregates, which play significant roles in Vibrio cholerae virulence and disease progression.
The researchers noted that achieving anti-bacterial activity through blocking cell communication is a promising strategy against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The scientists also observed that the isolated molecules are dramatically anti-inflammatory in cytokine storm, which is an extreme immune response and a main death cause of COVID-19 patients, and in inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease.