Scientists at Cornell University in the United States have discovered a new function for tomato juice. According to them, the drink will be able to exterminate bacteria Salmonella, responsible for most cases of food poisoning. The research was published in the scientific journal Microbiology Spectrum on January 30.
The juice was specifically effective against a particular strain of bacteria, Strep Salmonella enterica serotype Thyphi, which causes typhoid fever when it ends up in the bloodstream.
The researchers put fresh tomato juice in contact with a culture of bacteria, which died within 24 hours. Two peptides have been identified in the fruit's genome that have high antimicrobial potency, and are so effective that they were able to eradicate an antibiotic-resistant strain.
In a computer model, scientists discovered that peptides can tear apart bacterial membranes in just 45 minutes.
Typhoid fever is a public health problem in some countries, such as Pakistan, and transmission occurs mainly due to poor sanitation. Researchers say the study results reinforce the importance of maintaining a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
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