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Curr Microbiol. 2008 Dec;57(6):542-6. doi: 10.1007/s00284-008-9239-0. Epub 2008 Sep 10.

Antibacterial effects of green tea polyphenols on clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

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Department of Biotechnology, Soonchunhyang University, P.O. Box 97, Asan, Chung-Nam 336-600, Republic of Korea.


The antibacterial effects of tea polyphenols (TPP) extracted from Korean green tea (Camellia sinensis) against clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were evaluated. Characterization of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of oxacillin for 30 S. aureus strains isolated from patients treated with oxacillin identified 13 strains with an oxacillin MIC >or= 4 microg/mL as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (range: 8 to 512 microg/mL), while 17 strains were methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) (range: 0.25-0.5 microg/mL). The MICs of TPP ranged from 50 to 180 microg/mL for both the MSSA and the MRSA strains. The MICs of oxacillin for each of the 13 MRSA strains were reduced between 8- and 128-fold when these strains were coincubated with sub-MIC (<or= 0.5x MIC) levels of TPP, demonstrating that the combination of TPP plus oxacillin was synergistic for all of the clinical MRSA isolates. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis identified 14 extracellular proteins of MRSA-13 down-regulated and 3 proteins up-regulated by exposure to TPP. These studies demonstrate that TPP can differentially stimulate the expression of various proteins in these bacteria and synergize the bactericidal activity of oxacillin for MRSA.

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