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J Appl Microbiol. 2015 Sep;119(3):677-87. doi: 10.1111/jam.12874. Epub 2015 Aug 2.

Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity of red propolis: an alert for its safe use.

Author information

1
Bioscience and Technology of Bioactive Products Postgraduate Program, Pharmacy Course, Department of Plant Biology, Institute of Biology, State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.
2
Plant Biology Postgraduate Program, Department of Plant Biology, Institute of Biology - State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.
3
LABIOTEC - Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Biology, University of Campinas - UNICAMP, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

AIMS:

Red propolis is a resinous product popularly consumed in Brazil as it improves health, and it is considered a nutraceutical. The objective of this study was to test the antimicrobial activity of eight samples of red propolis from Brazil and Cuba to assess the possibility of application of this natural product as an antimicrobial agent, along with a study of its cytotoxic activity against non-tumor cell lines to evaluate at which concentrations it could be safely used.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

The chemical profile of the samples was evaluated by UHPLC-MS. All the samples presented antimicrobial activity which was tested using agar diffusion and serial dilution methods; and these samples displayed a better activity against most Gram-negative bacteria with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in the range between 6·25 μg ml(-1) and 500 μg ml(-1). However our studies also revealed an inherent cytotoxic effect against HaCaT human keratinocytes and BALBc 3T3.

CONCLUSIONS:

To have a noncytotoxic and safe use of red propolis, it is necessary to use a concentration below the IC50 cytotoxic values.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The traditional use of propolis does not necessarily guarantee its safety. The evaluation of the safety of bioactive natural products should always be considered together with the evaluation of the activity.

KEYWORDS:

UHPLC-MS; antimicrobial activity; bioactive natural products; cytotoxicity; red propolis

PMID:
26086953
DOI:
10.1111/jam.12874
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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