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J Dermatol. 2000 Nov;27(11):706-10.

The antibacterial activity of tea in vitro and in vivo (in patients with impetigo contagiosa).

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  • 1Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Baghdad University, P.O. Box 61072, Postal Cade 12114, Medical Collection Post Office, Medical City, Baghdad, Iraq.


A total number of 104 patients with impetigo contagiosa was included in this study. They were 47 females (45.2%) and 57 males (54.8%). Their ages ranged from one month to 40 years with a median of 4 years. This study was divided into two parts: PART I (in vitro): Thirty-five patients were swabbed to determine the microbiology of impetigo contagiosa which included 33 isolates of pure S. aureus (94.3%) and 2 of a combination of S. aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes (5.7%). The antibacterial effect of tea liquor (lotion) against S. aureus proved very effective. Antibiotic sensitivity was done for all bacterial isolates of S. aureus. PART II (in vivo): The antibacterial effects of tea liquor and ointment were tested by treating 64 patients with impetigo contagiosa. Tea ointment was very effective with a cure rate of 81.3%. Forty patients were taken as controls and divided into two groups. The first one was given an ointment containing Framycetin and gramicidin (soframycin) with a cure rate of 72.2%; the other group was given oral cephalexin with a cure rate of 78.6%. To the best of our knowledge, this study was the first one which demonstrated the anti-bacterial action of crude tea in vivo, against impetigo contagiosa. Clinical data about impetigo are also included in this study.

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