ENDÈMIC: ¿tienen potencial antibiótico las plantas y hierbas de Barcelona?

ENDÈMIC: Do Barcelona’s Plants and Herbs Have Antibiotic Potential?

18.11.2021
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Each year, we celebrate World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness about antimicrobial resistance globally and encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policymakers to stop the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

At ISGlobal’s Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative, we work towards these same goals with a focus on public participation, which has become increasingly common in various realms of society, including research. In addition to enabling the informed and responsible inclusion of various stakeholders in collective decision-making processes, public participation also fosters recognition, equity and responsible empowerment of society.

 

One example of a research project that promotes public participation is ENDÈMIC, an initiative spearheaded by ISGlobal in collaboration with Lichen IS with support from Barcelona City Council. This project blends scientific culture, microbiology, urban ecology and art. Through various citizen science, microbiology and ethnobotany workshops, participants have performed experiments to demonstrate the antiseptic potential of local plants and herbs from the city of Barcelona.

One example of a research project that promotes public participation is ENDÈMIC. Through various citizen science workshops, participants have performed experiments to demonstrate the antiseptic potential of local plants and herbs from the city of Barcelona

With this method, ENDÈMIC aims to promote scientific culture and democratise knowledge, raising awareness about key health and climate challenges and helping people understand how the ecosystem benefits human health and social resilience.

The cycle of workshops began with a session where participants shared their knowledge about the traditional use of native medicinal plants—knowledge passed down from generation to generation to combat microbial infections. In the second session, the antibiogram method was presented and applied to bacterial strains in order to show the antibiotic potential of the selected plants. The plants studied included ginger, oregano, aloe vera, thyme, mint and rosemary.

With the help of a professional photographer who monitored the evolution of the bacterial growth of the strains, the participants learned to visually analyse the antibiotic potential of each treatment. Finally, in the third session, with the collaboration of the Can Cadena urban garden, participants learned how to cultivate the studied plants, which, being native to the region, were absent in the city’s green spaces.

 

With the help of a professional photographer who monitored the evolution of the bacterial growth of the strains, the participants learned to visually analyse the antibiotic potential of each treatment

This process resulted in the production of a digital art piece. The results of the project will be unveiled to the public soon! The presentation is scheduled to take place on 20 November at Barcelona’s Convent de Sant Agustí Civic Centre, as a part of Science Week and World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. The project has confirmed the great impact of public participation and interdisciplinarity on scientific research, while also encouraging collaboration among a diverse range of members of society.

 

More Information

www.projectendemic.com