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Phytochemistry. 2005 Sep;66(17):2047-55.

Effects of tannins and related polyphenols on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Tsushima, Okayama 700-8530, Japan.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) often acquires multi-drug resistance and is involved in many cases of disease in hospitals. We investigated natural substances directly effective against MRSA or that influence antibiotic resistance. Aloe-emodin, an anthraquinone, and several licorice flavonoids showed potent antibacterial effects against MRSA. Like some hydrolysable tannins (corilagin and tellimagrandin I) and a tea polyphenol [(-)-epicatechin gallate], the licorice flavonoid licoricidin also restored the effects of oxacillin, a beta-lactam antibiotic against MRSA. Further study revealed that theasinensin A, a polyphenol formed from (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, proanthocyanidins obtained from fruits of Zizyphus jujuba var. inermis, and polymeric proanthocyanidins from fruit peels of Zanthoxylum piperitum also suppressed the antibiotic resistance of MRSA.

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