Author(s): Qin R, Xiao K, Li B, Jiang W, Peng W
Fructus crataegi (hawthorn) is the common name of all plant species in the genus Crataegus of the Rosaceae family. In the present study, three monomers of (+)-catechin (C), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECg) and (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC) were isolated from the hawthorn under the guide of antibacterial sensitization activity. The bioactivity of the composite fraction in enhancing the antibacterial effect of oxacillin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was greater than that of the individual monomer of the hawthorn extract in vitro. Two-fold dilution and checkerboard methods were used to analyze antibacterial activity and screen for the combination and proportion of monomers with the best bioactivity. The result showed that C (128 mg/L) combined with ECg (16 mg/L) had the greatest effect and the combination also reduced the bacterial load in blood of septic mice challenged with a sublethal dose of MRSA, increased daunomycin accumulation within MRSA and down-regulated the mRNA expression of norA, norC and abcA, three important efflux pumps of MRSA. In summary, C and ECg enhanced the antibacterial effect of β-lactam antibiotics against MRSA in vitro and in vivo, which might be related to the increased accumulation of antibiotics within MRSA via suppression of important efflux pumps' gene expression.