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Isopimaric acid from Pinus nigra shows activity against multidrug-resistant and EMRSA strains of Staphylococcus aureus

Smith, E., Williamson, E.M., Zloh, M. and Gibbons, S. (2005) Isopimaric acid from Pinus nigra shows activity against multidrug-resistant and EMRSA strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Phytotherapy Research, 19 (6). pp. 538-542. ISSN 0951-418X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1711


The diterpene isopimaric acid was extracted from the immature cones of Pinus nigra (Arnold) using bioassay. guided fractionation of a crude hexane extract. Isopimaric acid was assayed against multidrug-resistant (MDR) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) were 32-64 mu g/mL and compared with a commercially obtained resin acid, abietic acid, with MICs of 64 mu g/mL. Resin acids are known to have antibacterial activity and are valued in traditional medicine for their antiseptic properties: These results show that isopimaric acid is active against MDR an MRSA strains of S. aureus which are becoming, increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Both compounds were evaluated for modulation activity in combination with antibiotics, but did not potentiate the activity of the antibiotics tested. However, the compounds were also assayed in combination with the efflux pump inhibitor reserpine, to ice if inhibition of the TetK or NorA efflux pump increased their activity. Interestingly, rather than a potentiation of activity by a reduction in MIC, a two to four-fold increase in MIC was seen. It may he that isopimaric acid and abietic acid are not substrates for these efflux pumps, but it is also possible that an antagonistic interaction with reserpine may render the antibiotics inactive. H-1-NMR of abietic acid and reserpine taken individually and in combination, revealed a shift in resonance of some peaks for both compounds when mixed together compared with the spectra of the compounds on their own. It is proposed that this may he due to complex formation between abietic acid and reserpine and that this complex formation is responsible for a reduction in activity and elevation of MIC. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy
ID Code:13644
Uncontrolled Keywords:isopimaric acid, Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, EMRSA, multidrug-resistance, MDR, efflux , RESIN ACIDS, DETERMINANT, INHIBITORS

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