Anti-Pathogenic and Immune-Modulatory Effects of Peroral Treatment with Cardamom Essential Oil in Acute Murine Campylobacteriosis

Human infections with enteropathogenic Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) including multi-drug resistant isolates are emerging worldwide. Antibiotics-independent approaches in the combat of campylobacteriosis are therefore highly desirable. Since the health-beneficial including anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious properties of cardamom have been acknowledged for long, we here addressed potential anti-pathogenic and immune-modulatory effects of this natural compound during acute campylobacteriosis. For this purpose, microbiota-depleted IL-10−/− mice were orally infected with C. jejuni strain 81–176 and subjected to cardamom essential oil (EO) via the drinking water starting on day 2 post-infection. Cardamom EO treatment resulted in lower intestinal pathogen loads and improved clinical outcome of mice as early as day 3 post-infection. Furthermore, when compared to mock controls, cardamom EO treated mice displayed less distinct macroscopic and microscopic inflammatory sequelae on day 6 post-infection that were paralleled by lower colonic numbers of macrophages, monocytes, and T cells and diminished pro-inflammatory mediator secretion not only in the intestinal tract, but also in extra-intestinal and, remarkably, systemic organs. In conclusion, our preclinical intervention study provides the first evidence that cardamom EO comprises a promising compound for the combat of acute campylobacteriosis and presumably prevention of post-infectious morbidities.

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