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Antimicrobial activity and effects of resveratrol on human pathogenic bacteria

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Resveratrol (3,4′,5-trihydroxistilbene) is a phytoalexin commonly found in food and drinks, which is thought to possess antimicrobial activity. These effects together with its well known antioxidant properties are beneficial for the prevention of some diseases, e.g. cancer. In this study we have verified that resveratrol has antibacterial activity against all tested Gram-positive bacteria using both the disk diffusion and broth microdilution methods. Time kill assays of this compound against Gram-positive bacteria showed that its effects on the growth of bacterial cells were due to bacteriostatic action. The addition of resveratrol has allowed the identification of changes in cell morphology and DNA contents, which have been assessed through microscopic analysis and flow cytometry; this suggests that the cell cycle is affected by resveratrol. This study indicates that this compound may have potential as a natural antibacterial agent for both food preservation and medicinal use.

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This work was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (SFRH/BD/28168/2006). We are grateful to Eng A. Gomes, Dr. F. Silva and Prof. O. Lourenço for helpful advice and assistance in the performance of SEM and flow cytometry assays. We thank Biostatus Limited, Leicestershire, UK, for supplying DRAQ5.

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Correspondence to Fernanda Domingues.

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Paulo, L., Ferreira, S., Gallardo, E. et al. Antimicrobial activity and effects of resveratrol on human pathogenic bacteria. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 26, 1533–1538 (2010).

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