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Issue 12, 2012
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The effect of copper(II), iron(II) sulphate, and vitamin C combinations on the weak antimicrobial activity of (+)-catechin against Staphylococcus aureus and other microbes

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Abstract

Few attempts have been made to improve the activity of plant compounds with low antimicrobial efficacy. (+)-Catechin, a weak antimicrobial tea flavanol, was combined with putative adjuncts and tested against different species of bacteria. Copper(II) sulphate enhanced (+)-catechin activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa but not Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis or Escherichia coli. Attempts to raise the activity of (+)-catechin against two unresponsive species, S. aureus and E. coli, with iron(II) sulphate, iron(III) chloride, and vitamin C, showed that iron(II) enhanced (+)-catechin against S. aureus, but not E. coli; neither iron(III) nor combined iron(II) and copper(II), enhanced (+)-catechin activity against either species. Vitamin C enhanced copper(II) containing combinations against both species in the absence of iron(II). Catalase or EDTA added to active samples removed viability effects suggesting that active mixtures had produced H2O2via the action of added metal(II) ions. H2O2 generation by (+)-catechin plus copper(II) mixtures and copper(II) alone could account for the principal effect of bacterial growth inhibition following 30 minute exposures as well as the antimicrobial effect of (+)-catechin–iron(II) against S. aureus. These novel findings about a weak antimicrobial flavanol contrast with previous knowledge of more active flavanols with transition metal combinations. Weak antimicrobial compounds like (+)-catechin within enhancement mixtures may therefore be used as efficacious agents. (+)-Catechin may provide a means of lowering copper(II) or iron(II) contents in certain crop protection and other products.

Graphical abstract: The effect of copper(ii), iron(ii) sulphate, and vitamin C combinations on the weak antimicrobial activity of (+)-catechin against Staphylococcus aureus and other microbes

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jul 2012, accepted on 19 Oct 2012 and first published on 29 Oct 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2MT20143G
Citation: Metallomics, 2012,4, 1280-1286
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    The effect of copper(II), iron(II) sulphate, and vitamin C combinations on the weak antimicrobial activity of (+)-catechin against Staphylococcus aureus and other microbes

    A. C. Holloway, I. Mueller-Harvey, S. W. J. Gould, M. D. Fielder, D. P. Naughton and A. F. Kelly, Metallomics, 2012, 4, 1280
    DOI: 10.1039/C2MT20143G

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