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Recent patents on antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of tea.

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Department of Basic Medical Lessons Faculty of Health and Caring Professions Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Athens, Greece.


Teas have beneficial effects on human health including cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. The precise antimicrobial spectrum of tea is difficult to be defined due to variation in the methods of testing that have been used. Antibacterial effects of tea have been demonstrated against a number of microorganisms including Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., Bacillus spp., Klebsiella spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Teas and tea ingredients seem to have both bactericidal and bacteriostatic actions. In addition, tea catechins have been shown to modify the antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria and to alter the expression of factors that determine bacterial virulence. Antiviral effects of green tea have been demonstrated against the influenza virus, as well as against the Herpes simplex virus, tobacco mosaic virus, enterovirus, rotavirus, Epstein Barr virus, HIV virus. Yet, green tea catechins have been shown to have antiviral activities against HIV infection. Antifungal effects of tea have been reported against Candida albicans, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Trichophyton rubrum. The present paper describes recent patents on antimicrobial effect of teas and tea ingredients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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