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Phytomedicine. 2008 Mar;15(3):194-201. Epub 2007 Dec 26.

Positive antibacterial co-action between hop (Humulus lupulus) constituents and selected antibiotics.

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  • 1School of Natural Sciences, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ, USA.


The research reported here deals with co-action of the hop (Humulus lupulus)-derived anti-bacterial compounds, lupulone and xanthohumol, with several antibiotics. Among the antibiotics investigated for their co-action, polymyxin B sulfate, tobramycin and ciprofloxacin had a positive co-action in inhibiting selected test bacteria. The disc/well-diffusion assay and the minimum inhibitory concentration test (MIC) were employed to determine co-action. Both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were used in the evaluation. There was some co-action against all Gram-positive bacteria tested. Surprisingly, there was some positive co-action even against certain Gram-negative bacteria but not against others. Particularly, there was no co-action against E.coli. An antibacterial cream with lupulone, neomycin and polymyxin B sulfate was prepared and showed co-action. Ideas for other practical applications of this effect are put forth. The mechanism of the synergistic effect is briefly discussed but no attempt was made to prove it experimentally.

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