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Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Dec;50(12):4302-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.09.001. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Pomegranate pericarp extract enhances the antibacterial activity of ciprofloxacin against extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) producing Gram-negative bacilli.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata 700032, India.


A methanolic extract of Punica granatum (pomegranate) fruit pericarp (PGME) was tested in combination with ciprofloxacin against extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which were screened for their resistance profile against fluoroquinolone antibiotics. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of ciprofloxacin and PGME, alone, were determined, and synergy of ciprofloxacin-PGME combinations evaluated by checkerboard assay and fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC). Nineteen out of forty-nine strains exhibited synergy with ciprofloxacin (FIC of 0.125-0.5 for ciprofloxacin) further verified by agar-well assay. This could be due to the bacterial efflux pump inhibitor (EPI) activity of the polyphenolic constituents of PGME. However, the isolates exhibiting a high level of ciprofloxacin resistance did not respond to ciprofloxacin-PGME combinations, which could be due to target site modification not influenced further by EPI activity of PGME. Again, some strains were sensitive or weakly resistant to ciprofloxacin, which exhibited 'indifference' to the combination, probably due to a lack of over-expressed efflux mechanism. Thus, a synergy of a ciprofloxacin-PGME combination was demonstrated for the first time against ESBL- and MBL-producing Gram-negative bacilli, and the efficacy of an existing drug improved with the help of an inexpensive alternative therapy.

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