Quorum sensing inhibitors of staphylococcus aureus from Italian medicinal plants

Cassandra L. Quave, Lisa R.W. Plano, Bradley C. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Morbidity and mortality estimates due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections continue to rise. Therapeutic options are limited by antibiotic resistance. Anti-pathogenic compounds, which inhibit quorum sensing (QS) pathways, may be a useful alternative to antibiotics. Staphylococcal QS is encoded by the agr locus and is responsible for the production of -hemolysin. Quantification of -hemolysin found in culture supernatants permits the analysis of agr activity at the translational rather than transcriptional level. We employed reversed phase high performance chromatographic (RP-HPLC) techniques to investigate the anti-QS activity of 168 extracts from 104 Italian plants through quantification of -hemolysin. Extracts from three medicinal plants (Ballota nigra, Castanea sativa, and Sambucus ebulus) exhibited a dose-dependent response in the production of -hemolysin, indicating anti-QS activity in a pathogenic MRSA isolate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • δ-hemolysin
  • δ-toxin
  • agr
  • medicinal plants
  • MRSA
  • quorum sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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