Toronto, Oct 26 : Cranberry extract has the potential to interrupt communication between harmful bacteria thus stopping spread of infections and paving way to developing alternative approaches in controlling infections, a research has found.
"Cranberry PACs interrupt the ability for bacteria to communicate with each other, spread and become virulent -- a process known as quorum sensing," INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier's Professor-investigator Eric Deziel said.
Cranberries are a potent source of antioxidants and have unique anti-adhesive properties which help protect the body from harmful bacteria.
This unique anti-adhesive activity is primarily due to a natural compound in the fruit called proanthocyanidins (PACs).
PACs can aid in controlling the virulence or spread of potentially dangerous bacterial infections around the world, the researchers said.
"The cranberry extract successfully interferes with the chain of events associated with the spread and severity of chronic bacterial infections," said Deziel from the research centre in Quebec, Canada.
In the study, by feeding cranberry extract to fruit flies -- a commonly used model for studying human infections -- the reseachers discovered that the fruit provided flies protection from bacterial infection.
The cranberry-fed flies lived longer than their cranberry-free counterparts.
In essence, the cranberry extract reduced the severity of the bacterial infection.
"This means that cranberries could be part of the arsenal used to manage infections and potentially minimise the dependence on antibiotics for the global public," said Professor Nathalie Tufenkji of McGill University in Canada.
The results which elaborated on what this might mean for humans, as opposed to flies, were published in Scientific Reports.