The principal objective of this study was to determine the anti-staphylococcal potential of ethanol extracts of propolis (EEPs). A total of 20 samples of propolis collected from apiaries located in different regions of Poland were used in the study. The two-fold broth microdilution method revealed some important differences in the antimicrobial activity of investigated EEPs. Up to the concentration of 4096 µg/mL no activity was observed against Gram-negative bacteria (E. coli
and P. aeruginosa
). Staphylococci exhibited much higher susceptibility. The highest efficiency observed for EEP12 and EEP20 (MIC values ranged between 32 and 256 µg/mL). However, the achievement of bactericidal effect usually required higher concentrations. In the case of clinical isolates of S. aureus
MBC values for EEP12 and EEP20 ranged from 512 to 1024 µg/mL. The HPLC analysis revealed that these two products contained a higher concentration of flavonoids (flavonols, flavones, and flavanones) compared to other investigated EEPs. In checkerboard test, a synergistic anti-staphylococcal effect was observed for the action of EEP20 in combination with amikacin, kanamycin, gentamycin, tetracycline, and fusidic acid (all these antibiotics inhibit protein synthesis). Moreover, the investigated EEPs effectively eradicated staphylococcal biofilm. The obtained results clearly confirm the high anti-staphylococcal potential of propolis harvested in Polish apiaries.
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