What is locally considered a minor crop grown in backyards or on a small amount of farm acreage in Panay Island has a very promising anti-bacterial activity against different types of skin diseases. Traditionally, Kadios is a popular, functional Ilonggo food that has long been an ingredient in the Ilonggo cuisine known as “KBL”, a mixture of Kadyos, Baboy (pork) and Langka (jackfruit). Also known as Congo pea or black-eyed pea in English, it flowers after 65-80 days, and following a short period of time, fresh pods can be harvested. Aside from producing sumptuous meals, the Kadios essentially contains phytochemicals that could exploit to kill whatever diseases we could face, carbohydrates & fiber, proteins and vitamins.

Dr. Doralyn Dalisay, a DOST Balik Scientist, embarks on the novel study of the development of Kadios as skin antibiotic entitled “Chemical and Biological Characterization of Pure and Bioactive Compounds from Kadios (Cajanus cajan) Seeds and its Topical Formulation Studies.”
The journey started in 2016 where Dr. Dalisay has a project with her undergraduate students from University of San Agustin to screen 20 beans in Panay Island. From the 20 beans that were investigated, only the Kadios gave a very promising anti-bacterial activity. With the potential of the preliminary investigations and findings, she studied further the activities of Kadios and found particular compounds that are indeed responsible for the anti-bacterial activity.

With the seed’s potential, a collaboration with the local pharmaceutical company Maridan, University of San Agustin (USA), and Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) was pursued to further develop a topical formulation of Kadios against skin infections caused by Staphylococcus Aureus.
Based on the 2017 study of Department of Health – Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance Program (DOST-ARSP), the Staphylococcus Aureus that is a major pathogen causing skin diseases such as boils and cuts, is now resistant to most of the clinically available antibiotics such as Erythromycin with 14% resistance have been found, Clindamycin with 13% and the considered as last resort Vancomycin with 2% resistance. With this, experts and researchers prompted to focus on fighting the most dangerous pathogens, including the Staphylococcus Aureus. If infected by a multi-drug resistant, the individual will undergo some systemic disease that can cause more damage or more threat to his health.
“If we cannot mitigate this there will be about 10 million people that could die each year by 2050 and this could be one pandemic that we foresee. So we have to be prepared right now in fighting these infectious diseases that are drug-resistant,” stressed by Dr. Dalisay.
The study is pushed through with DOH and DOST’s Unified Health Research and Agenda for 2017-2022 under the research theme of Global Competitiveness and Innovation in Health which promotes research as a tool for creating novel solutions to existing and emerging health problems. Dr. Dalisay particularly targeted the component of Drug Discovery and Development where the study identifies and standardizes natural products and develops drugs and vaccines for specific conditions; and the component of Functional food where the research focuses on food supplements and functional food development of Kadios.

Currently on the first year, the study continues to test and isolate natural products present in Kadios. Dr. Dalisay also stressed that they are not testing for only 1 panel of pathogen that can cause skin diseases but escalates to several panels of Staphylococcus Aureus. Moreover, it continues to compare the resistance of natural products of Kadios to other available skin antibiotics we have in the market. (JJMoleño/DOST VI-KMU)