Cup of tea
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An ingredient commonly found in green tea could help eliminate antibiotic resistant bacteria - one of the greatest health risks facing our increasingly antibiotic-reliant world.

Researchers at the UK's University of Surrey found that a natural antioxidant in green tea can help aztreonam, an antibiotic commonly used to treat serious respiratory tract and bloodstream infections.

Such infections are linked to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and have become increasingly difficult to treat in recent years as it grew resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Through their analysis, the team found a combination of the antioxidant and aztreonam together was more effective at tackling the bacteria than either managed alone.

"The World Health Organisation has listed antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a critical threat to human health," Prof. Roberto La Ragione, Head of the Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey said.

"We have shown that we can successfully eliminate such threats with the use of natural products, in combination with antibiotics already in use."

Results from the breakthrough have been published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The winning combination now needs to be developed further before it can be used in clinical settings.