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Molecules 2011, 16(9), 7958-7968; doi:10.3390/molecules16097958
Article

Allicin Reduces the Production of α-Toxin by Staphylococcus aureus

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Received: 20 July 2011 / Revised: 1 September 2011 / Accepted: 7 September 2011 / Published: 15 September 2011
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Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus causes a broad range of life-threatening diseases in humans. The pathogenicity of this micro-organism is largely dependent upon its virulence factors. One of the most extensively studied virulence factors is the extracellular protein α-toxin. In this study, we show that allicin, an organosulfur compound, was active against S. aureus with MICs ranged from 32 to 64 μg/mL. Haemolysis, Western blot and real-time RT-PCR assays were used to evaluate the effects of allicin on S. aureus α-toxin production and on the levels of gene expression, respectively. The results of our study indicated that sub-inhibitory concentrations of allicin decreased the production of α-toxin in both methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the transcriptional levels of agr (accessory gene regulator) in S. aureus were inhibited by allicin. Therefore, allicin may be useful in the treatment of α-toxin-producing S. aureus infections.
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; α-toxin; allicin; sub-inhibitory concentrations Staphylococcus aureus; α-toxin; allicin; sub-inhibitory concentrations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Leng, B.-F.; Qiu, J.-Z.; Dai, X.-H.; Dong, J.; Wang, J.-F.; Luo, M.-J.; Li, H.-E.; Niu, X.-D.; Zhang, Y.; Ai, Y.-X.; Deng, X.-M. Allicin Reduces the Production of α-Toxin by Staphylococcus aureus. Molecules 2011, 16, 7958-7968.

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