The research illuminates the basic mechanics of E. coli infections, possibly leading to new antibiotic drugs and infection-resistant materials for invasive medical devices.
Urinary infections are caused when virulent E. coli adhere to cells.
The previous study by Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering at WPI, had shown that cranberry juice reduces its ability to attach to urinary tract cells.
The new study explains exactly how this happens.
“This is not a clinical study—it’s a mechanical study that shows us the direct forces that can lead to infection,” said Camesano.
The study revealed that the more the amount of juice one drinks, the more the attachment force of the virulent E. coli weakened.
The urine flow cannot generate enough force without the juice to break this attachment to the human cells.
The article is published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research.