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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2009 Apr;15(4):341-6.

Highly antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates are killed by the green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

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Shriners Hospitals for Children, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


Acinetobacter baumannii is an increasingly common cause of infection in intensive-care units throughout the world, and the occurrence of multiresistant A. baumannii is increasing. The aim of this study was to determine whether a highly purified polyphenol, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), from green tea (Camellia sinesis), had antimicrobial effects against multiresistant clinical isolates of A. baumannii. Standard microplate assays were performed to determine the MIC of EGCG for 21 clinical isolates of A. baumannii. MICs ranged from 0.078 to 0.625 mg/mL, with MIC(50) and MIC(90) of 0.312 mg/mL and 0.625 mg/mL, respectively. All of the isolates of A. baumannii tested were killed by EGCG. In time-kill assays, EGCG resulted in a 3-log reduction in CFU/mL of A. baumannii after 5 h of incubation with the polyphenol. Synergy between the commonly used topical agent 5% mafenide acetate (Sulfamylon) and EGCG was noted for one clinical isolate, and partial synergy was noted for three other isolates. These findings demonstrate that EGCG is an effective bactericidal agent against antibiotic-resistant A. baumannii clinical strains in laboratory settings. EGCG has previously been shown to be safe, and therefore may be an attractive addition for the treatment of cutaneous A. baumannii infections where high concentrations of the drug can be applied to the wound surface.

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