The synergistic effects of green tea polyphenols and antibiotics against potential pathogens


Green tea leaves contain many polyphenolic compounds such as (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), and (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). These polyphenol compounds have been implicated to have distinct properties that combat the harmful effects of cell proliferation. They contain certain anti-viral and antibacterial properties that inhibit growth. In this study, 1% green tea and modified lipophilic green tea polyphenols (GTP and LTP) were used in combination with the most commonly prescribed antibiotics to study their effects on gram-positive, gram-negative, and acid-fast bacteria. The results indicated that 1% GTP and 1% LTP provided different synergistic effects on several antibiotics in various bacteria. It was found that 1% GTP works the best synergistically against Enterobacter aerogenes, making the resistant strain susceptible to 8 out of 12 antibiotics used. 1% LTP worked the best on Escherichia coli and was able to convert 7 antibiotic resistant categories to susceptible. In addition, 1% LTP was also able to inhibit the growth of Serratia marcescens synergistically with 3 antibiotics. These results suggest that 1% GTP and 1% LTP provide beneficial effects on selected antibiotics against microbial growth and are able to reverse the antibiotic resistance to susceptible. Green tea polyphenols could serve as natural alternatives to combat against antibiotic resistance pathogens.

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Haghjoo, B. , Lee, L. , Habiba, U. , Tahir, H. , Olabi, M. and Chu, T. (2013) The synergistic effects of green tea polyphenols and antibiotics against potential pathogens. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 959-967. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.411127.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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