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Compound used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene surfaces

March 28/2011

(ScienceDaily) -- A compound that is an active ingredient in plants commonly used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene and polycarbonate surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus. The research suggests that this compound, 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranose (PGG) is highly promising for clinical use in preventing biofilm formation by S. aureus. The paper is published in the March 2011 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.


S. aureus commonly forms biofilms on medical implants, causing pneumonia, meningitis, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and bloodstream and urinary tract infections. Biofilms, which are far tougher than bacteria not incorporated into biofilms, are resistant to antibiotics even when the individual bacteria composing the biofilm lack antibiotic resistance genes. Once biofilms become attached to the surfaces of medical devices, they are extremely difficult to expunge.


PGG is an active ingredient in plants that are commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat inflammation. It was one of 48 compounds purified form medicinal plants that the researchers screened for efficacy in inhibiting S. aureus biofilm formation. PGG was on sole compound from among them that did not kill the pathogens.


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