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Inhibition activity of wild berry juice fractions against Streptococcus pneumoniae binding to human bronchial cells

January 12, 2011
Huttunen S, Toivanen M, Arkko S, Ruponen M, Tikkanen-Kaukanen C.
Phytother Res 25(1):122-7

Bacterial adhesion to the cell surface is a crucial step before infection can take place. Inhibition of bacterial binding offers a novel preventive approach against infections. Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) juice has been found to have antiadhesive activity against different bacteria. Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important pathogen and the most common cause for pneumonia, meningitis, and otitis media. In this study the inhibitory activity of cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos L.), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) and crowberry (Empetrum nigrum and Empetrum hermaphroditum L.) juice fractions against pneumococcal binding was tested using human bronchial cells (Calu-3) as an adhesion model. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of the berry juice fractions was tested. It was found that the studied berry juice fractions had antiadhesion activity and cranberry juice was the most active. The adhesion inhibition activity of cranberry juice was nearly 90% at a concentration of 8.7mg/g of soluble solids. The antimicrobial activity of the studied berry juice fractions was found to be remarkable; pneumococcal growth was inhibited totally at a concentration of ~86mg/g. Both antiadhesion and antimicrobial activities were reduced after solid-phase extraction of the berry juices, which may suggest molecular synergistic effects of the berry juice molecules against S. pneumoniae. The findings indicate that cranberry, bilberry and crowberry juices have potential against pneumococcal infections.