Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 93, Issue 4, pp 1663–1671 | Cite as

Antibacterial property and mechanism of a novel Pu-erh tea nanofibrous membrane

  • Yajuan Su
  • Chenlu Zhang
  • Yan Wang
  • Ping Li
Applied microbial and cell physiology


Pu-erh tea is made via a natural fermentation process. In this study, Pu-erh tea was used as a raw material for nanomaterials preparation and as an antibacterial agent. Antibacterial activities on Escherichia coli of Pu-erh tea, Pu-erh tea powder (PTP) of different sizes, and Pu-erh tea residual powder were firstly determined, respectively. With polyvinyl alcohol as the carrier, through an electrospinning technique, different kinds of nanofibrous membranes were obtained from the extract of Pu-erh tea and nano-PTP (NPTP), and their antibacterial properties and mechanism against E. coli were evaluated. The results showed better antibacterial activity with smaller PTP particles, the nano-sized particles had the best effects, and the MIC of NPTP was 13.5 mg/mL. When NPTP was in nanofibrous membranes, the antibacterial activity decreased slightly, but increased with modification by ZnO. Pu-erh tea in nanofibrous membranes damaged the E. coli cell membranes and caused leakage of K+ and enzymes. What is more is that damage of the cell walls led to the leakage of fluorescent proteins from enhanced green fluorescence protein-expressing E. coli. These results indicate that the Pu-erh tea nanofibrous membranes had good antibacterial activities against E. coli, which may provide a promising application of novel antibacterial materials.


Antibacterial Pu-erh tea Nanofibrous membrane 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 20976138), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (no. 09ZR1434500), the Ministry of Agriculture of China (no. 2009ZX08009-37B), and the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials (no. 2010MCIMKF03).


  1. Alipour SM, Nouri M, Mokhtari J, Bahrami SH (2009) Electrospinning of poly(vinyl alcohol)–water-soluble quaternized chitosan derivative blend. Carbohydr Res 344:2496–2501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Zoreky NS (2009) Antimicrobial activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit peels. Int J Food Microbiol 134:244–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Applerot G, Perkas N, Amirian G, Girshevitz O, Gedanken A (2009) Coating of glass with ZnO via ultrasonic irradiation and a study of its antibacterial properties. Appl Surf Sci 256S:S3–S8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradford M (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown JC, Huang GH, Haley-Zitlin V, Jiang X (2009) Antibacterial effects of grape extracts on Helicobacter pylori. Appl Environ Microbiol 75(3):848–852CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Charernsriwilaiwat N, Opanasopita P, Rojanarataa T, Ngawhirunpat T, Supaphol P (2010) Preparation and characterization of chitosan–hydroxybenzotriazole/polyvinyl alcohol blend nanofibers by the electrospinning technique. Carbohydr Polym 81:675–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cho YS, Schiller NL, Oh KH (2008) Antibacterial effects of green tea polyphenols on clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Curr Microbiol 57:542–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chung YC, Chen CY (2008) Antibacterial characteristics and activity of acid-soluble chitosan. Bioresour Technol 99:2806–2814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dai YR, Niu JF, Liu J, Yin LF, Xu JJ (2010) In situ encapsulation of laccase in microfibers by emulsion electrospinning: preparation, characterization, and application. Bioresour Technol 101:8942–8947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fujimoto T, Tsuchiya Y, Terao M, Nakamura K, Yamamoto M (2006) Antibacterial effects of Chitosan solution® against Legionella pneumophila, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Int J Food Microbiol 112:96–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gogoi SK, Gopinath P, Paul A, Ramesh A, Ghosh SS, Chattopadhyay A (2006) Green fluorescent protein-expressing Escherichia coli as a model system for investigating the antimicrobial activities of silver nanoparticles. Langmuir 22(22):9322–9328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goni P, López P, Sánchez C, Gómez-Lus R, Becerril R, Nerín C (2009) Antimicrobial activity in the vapour phase of a combination of cinnamon and clove essential oils. Food Chem 116:982–989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Haras Y (1995) A novel type of antibacterial peptide isolated from the silkworm, Bombyx mori. J Biol Chem 270:29923–29927CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kim JE, Kim HE, Hwang JK, Lee HJ, Kwon HK, Kim BI (2008) Antibacterial characteristics of Curcuma xanthorrhiza extract on Streptococcus mutans biofilm. J Microbiol 4:228–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Li MY, Xu ZT (2008) Quercetin in a lotus leaves extract may be responsible for antibacterial activity. Arch Pharmacal Res 31(5):640–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li LH, Deng JC, Deng H, Liu ZL, Li XL (2010a) Preparation, characterization and antimicrobial activities of chitosan/Ag/ZnO blend films. Chem Eng J 160:378–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li P, Su YJ, Wang Y, Liu B, Sun LM (2010b) Bioadsorption of methyl violet from aqueous solution onto Pu-erh tea powder. J Hazard Mater 179:43–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lou ZX, Wang HX, Lv WP, Ma CY, Wang ZP, Chen SW (2010) Assessment of antibacterial activity of fractions from burdock leaf against food-related bacteria. Food Control 21:1272–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Moon JS, Kim HK, Koo HC, Joo YS, Nam HM, Park YH, Kang MI (2007) The antibacterial and immunostimulative effect of chitosan–oligosaccharides against infection by Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine mastitis. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 75:989–998CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pathanibul P, Taylor TM, Davidson PM, Harte F (2009) Inactivation of Escherichia coli and Listeria innocua in apple and carrot juices usinghigh pressure homogenization and nisin. Int J Food Microbiol 129:316–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Qu ML, Jiang WC (2004) Investigation of the antibacterial mechanism of nanometer zinc oxide. Textile Auxiliaries 21(6):45–46Google Scholar
  22. Radovanović A, Radovanović B, Jovančićević B (2009) Free radical scavenging and antibacterial activities of southern Serbian red wines. Food Chem 117:326–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rasheed A, Haider M (1998) Antibacterial activity of Camellia sinensis extracts against dental caries. Arch Pharmacal Res 21(3):348–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shan B, Cai YZ, Brooks JD, Corke H (2007) The in vitro antibacterial activity of dietary spice and medicinal herb extracts. Int J Food Microbiol 117:112–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sill TJ, von Recum HA (2008) Electrospinning: applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. Biomaterials 29:1989–2006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Su P, Henriksson A, Nilsson C, Mitchell H (2008) Synergistic effect of green tea extract and probiotics on the pathogenic bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 24:1837–1842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sudjana AN, D’Orazio C, Ryan V, Rasool N, Ng J, Islam N, Rileya TV, Hammer KA (2009) Antimicrobial activity of commercial Olea europaea (olive) leaf extract. Int J Antimicrob Ag 33:461–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sun JX, Wang WJ (2010) Antimicrobial action mechanism of tea polyphenols on pseudomonad. Meat Ind 1:36–39Google Scholar
  29. Tajkarimi MM, Ibrahim SA, Cliver DO (2010) Antimicrobial herb and spice compounds in food. Food Control 21:1199–1218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Takahashi T, Aso Y, Kasai W, Kondo T (2010) Improving the antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus of composite sheets containing wasted tea leaves by roasting. J Wood Sci 56(5):403–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wu SC, Yen GC, Wang BS, Chiu CK, Yen WJ, Chang LW, Duh PD (2007) Antimutagenic and antimicrobial activities of Pu-erh tea. LWT-Food Sci Technol 40:506–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wu YF, Hu Q, Zhu JS (2009) Advances in digestion process of instant tea research. China Tea 5:15–17Google Scholar
  33. Yamamoto O (2001) Influence of particle size on the antibacterial activity of zinc oxide. Inorg Mater 3:643–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yanagawa Y, Yamamoto Y, Hara Y, Shimamura T (2003) A combination effect of epigallocatechin gallate, a major compound of green tea catechins, with antibiotics on Helicobacter pylori growth in vitro. Curr Microbiol 47:244–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhao Y, Zhan JH, Liu JW (1993) Anti-caries effects of Pu-erh tea. Dent Prevention Treat 1(1):17–19Google Scholar
  36. Zhao SM, Zheng LJ, Du B (2009) Measurement of antimicrobial activity of ketone in Apocynum with agar diffusion method. Sci Technol Rev 27(9):37–40Google Scholar
  37. Zhou J, Ding JP, Wang ZN, Xie XF (1997) Effect of tea polysaccharides on blood-glucose, blood lipid and immunological function of mice. J Tea Sci 17(1):75–79Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life Sciences and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials, Department of ChemistryFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations