Anti-quorum sensing activity of medicinal plants in southern Florida
Bacterial intercellular communication, or quorum sensing (QS), controls the pathogenesis of many medically important organisms. Anti-QS compounds are known to exist in marine algae and have the ability to attenuate bacterial pathogenicity. We hypothesized that terrestrial plants traditionally used as medicines may also produce anti-QS compounds. To test this hypothesis, 50 medicinal plants from southern Florida were screened for anti-QS activity using two biomonitor strains, Chromobacterium violaceum and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Of these plants, six showed QS inhibition: Conocarpus erectus L. (Combretaceae), Chamaecyce hypericifolia (L.) Millsp. (Euphorbiaceae), Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertn.) G. Don (Myrtaceae), Bucida burceras L. (Combretaceae), Tetrazygia bicolor (Mill.) Cogn. (Melastomataceae), and Quercus virginiana Mill. (Fagaceae). This study introduces not only a new mode of action and possible validation for traditional plant use, but also a potentially new therapeutic direction for the treatment of bacterial infections.
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