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Development of Botanical Based Topical Antibiotics
The market for antibacterial hand sanitizers is currently estimated at $170,000,000 annually. The water-based hand soaps attribute their antibacterial property to the addition of the organochlorine compound triclosan and related derivatives. These organochlorine compounds are thought to play a role in the increase in multi drug resistant bacteria and contribute organochlorine degradation products to the environment. Over 100,000 plant derived compounds have been reported in the literature with a number of them showing antimicrobial activity. However, the activity of these antimicrobial compounds is low and effective at relatively high concentrations. These properties have made botanical based antimicrobial compounds low priorities for commercial development. Our lab is interested in the development of North American prairie plant botanicals as sources of commercially useful compounds. This presentation will discuss our current research on prairie plant extracts as sources of compounds that may offer an alternative to triclosan in hand sanitizers. The bioassay and the compounds that we have isolated from Juniperus virginiana will be discussed.