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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 Jul;34(1):50-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2009.01.010. Epub 2009 Apr 21.

Antimicrobial activity against Helicobacter pylori strains and antioxidant properties of blackberry leaves (Rubus ulmifolius) and isolated compounds.

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Dipartimento Farmaco Chimico Tecnologico, Università di Siena, Via Aldo Moro 2, 53100 Siena, Italy.


Rubus spp. (Rosaceae) provide extracts used in traditional medicine as antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and radical scavenging agents. Resistance to antibiotics used to treat Helicobacter pylori infection as well as their poor availability in developing countries prompted us to test the antimicrobial activity of Rubus ulmifolius leaves and isolated polyphenols against two H. pylori strains with different virulence (CagA+ strain 10K and CagA(-) strain G21). The antioxidant activity (TEAC values) of the tested compounds ranged from 4.88 (gallic acid) to 1.60 (kaempferol), whilst the leaf extract gave a value of 0.12. All the isolated polyphenols as well as the leaf extract showed antibacterial activity against both of the H. pylori strains. The minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of the extract for H. pylori strains G21 and 10K, respectively, were 1200 microg/mL and 1500 microg/mL after 24h of exposure and 134 microg/mL and 270 microg/mL after 48 h exposure. Ellagic acid showed very low MBC values towards both of the H. pylori strains after 48 h (2 microg/mL and 10 microg/mL for strains G21 and 10K, respectively) and kaempferol toward G21 strain (MBC=6 microg/mL). A relationship between antimicrobial activity and antioxidant capacity was found only for H. pylori strain G21 CagA(-) strain.

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