Send to

Choose Destination
Med Hypotheses. 2003 Feb;60(2):171-4.

The next step in infectious disease: taming bacteria.

Author information

Plainview, TX 79072, USA.


Except for immunization programs our warfare with bacteria has always been a frontal assault with antibiotics. In this warfare we win battles, but with every new battle the enemy gets stronger. We need other options. Recent experience suggests two alternatives. First, public health measures designed to control the spread of infectious disease are associated with the selection of less virulent strains of microorganisms. Second, the same selection pressures obtained by public health measures outside the body are brought into play when we inhibit the adherence of bacteria within the body. Two recent studies using food sugars known to inhibit bacterial adherence show long-term benefits best explained by the previously observed decreases in bacterial virulence, following chronic exposure to the respective substances. Cranberry juice selects for less uropathogenic strains of Escherichia coli and xylitol for less caries producing Streptococcus mutans. The ability of these substances to reduce bacterial adherence in the human host has been known for some time, but poorly utilized. Their in vitro ability to decrease virulence has been reported but not clinically studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center