Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of Posidonia oceanica and Allium autumnale

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Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of Posidonia oceanica and Allium autumnale

by Dr Ender Volkan, Associate Professor of Microbiology, UNIC Medical School


The increase in antibiotic resistance among bacterial pathogens is a looming worldwide crisis that has created an urgent need for novel strategies for the treatment and prevention of infections. If new antibiotics aren’t discovered and implemented, death by antimicrobial resistant pathogens are predicted to exceed 10 million each year and outnumber cancer deaths by 2050. One promising strategy to combat these infections is to identify novel antimicrobials, to target essential mechanisms of virulence and to potentiate current antibiotics that have been rendered ineffective against pathogens by antimicrobial resistance. Cyprus is home to a rich flora of medically significant plants, most of which are understudied. In this study, we have investigated various endemic plant species of Cyprus on antimicrobial resistant/recalcitrant microorganisms, investigated their bioactive molecules, biofilm inhibitory actions and antibiotic synergies.


Dr Ender Volkan is an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Nicosia Medical School.

She graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a BSc in Biology (cum laude) and a minor in Chemistry. She earned her PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Washington University in St. Louis, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences.

Most recently, she was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award to conduct research on antimicrobial-resistant pathogens at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, McGovern Medical School.

Her research interests encompass the utilization of novel molecules and endemic plant extracts to investigate their potential antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities. Her goal is to enhance the effectiveness of current antibiotics, develop new antimicrobial options, and create novel anti-virulence factors against drug-resistant bacteria. Additionally, she is keen on understanding virulence factor assembly by pathogenic bacteria, with a particular focus on chaperone-usher pili, their interaction with host cells, and strategies for their inhibition. Her work has been published in prestigious journals, including Nature, PNAS, and Lancet Microbe.

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