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Biomedicine (Taipei). 2015 Aug;5(3):16. doi: 10.7603/s40681-015-0016-7. Epub 2015 Aug 18.

Antibacterial effects and action modes of asiatic acid.

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School of Nutrition, Chung Shan Medical University, 402, Taichung, Taiwan,


In this study, the antibacterial effects and action modes of asiatic acid against the foodborne bacterial pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, and Bacillus cereus were examined. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of asiatic acid against these bacteria were in the range of 20-40 μg/mL. Minimum bactericidal concentrations of asiatic acid were in the range of 32-52 μg/mL. Asiatic acid at 2X MIC effectively reduced bacterial numbers from 6 log10 to < 2 log10 in all test bacteria within 6 h (P < 0.05). The antibacterial activity of asiatic acid was not affected by heat treatments from 25 to 100°C. Asiatic acid at 1 or 2X MICs caused 40-56% and 71-89% membrane damage in test bacteria within 2 h, respectively In addition, asiatic acid at 1 or 2X MICs led to 1.5-2.4 ppm and 2.9-4.1 ppm K(+) release within 2 hr, respectively. Asiatic acid treatments dose-dependently increased bacterial nucleotide leakage (P < 0.05). After 3 days of storage at 25°C, the addition of asiatic acid dose-dependently inhibited the growth of test bacteria in ground beef (P < 0.05), in which 8 mg asiatic acid treatments led to bacterial levels (log CFU/g) in said ground beef lower than 2. These findings suggest that asiatic acid might be a potent antibacterial agent to prevent food contamination.


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