Drug Discov Ther. 2019;13(6):335-342. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2019.01087)

Methanol extract of Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx fruit has anti-motility and anti-biofilm activity against enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

Minami M, Takase H, Nakamura M, Makino T


Foodborne diseases have become a worldwide problem that threatens public health and welfare. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is one of major pathogens of moderate to severe diarrhea. The increased prevalence of EPEC strains that produce extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) has deepened the problem. The fruit of Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx (LCE) has been used as a traditional food preservative and medicine in northern temperate zones such as Hokkaido Island, Japan. In this study, we investigated the antibacterial effect of LCE fruit extract (LCEE) against EPEC. The antibacterial activities of LCEE were examined by bacterial growth, time-kill curve, soft-agar motility, electron microscopy, and 96 well-microplate biofilm assays. We also investigated the bacterial mRNA expression of biofilm-associated genes (fliC, csgA, and fimA) by quantitative realtime PCR assays. LCEE was found to suppress the growth, time-kill curve, and spread of EPEC. It also reduced the biofilm formation in a dose-dependent manner. Morphological analysis using transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed that LCEE diminished the function of flagella resulting in reduced motility and biofilm formation. The mRNA expression of all three biofilm associated genes was downregulated under LCEE treatment. Extracts of the fruit of LCE inhibit the motility and biofilm formation of EPEC as a result of the inhibition of flagella development and function. We propose LCEE as a therapeutic candidate for the effective therapy of EPEC-associated infectious diseases.

KEYWORDS: Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx, EPEC, biofilm, flagellar, electron microscopy

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