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Sensitivity of Escherichia coli to Seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) Phlorotannins and Terrestrial Tannins.

Wang, Y., Xu, Z., Bach, S.J., and McAllister, T.A. (2009). "Sensitivity of Escherichia coli to Seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) Phlorotannins and Terrestrial Tannins.", Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Science, 22(2), pp. 238-245.


Pure culture experiments were conducted to assess the bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects of phlorotannins (PT) isolated from Ascophyllum nodosum (brown seaweed) on Escherichia coli O157:H7. In Exp. 1, one non-O157:H7 strain (25922) and three strains of E. coli O157:H7 (3081, EDL933 and E318N) were cultured in M9 medium with PT included at 0 (control), 25, 50 or 100 µg/ml (n = 3). Bacterial growth was monitored by OD600 at 0, 4, 6, 12 and 24 h, and by dilution plating at 0, 4, 6 and 24 h. All strains were inhibited (p<0.001) by PT to varying degrees. At 50 or 100 µg/ml, PT prevented growth of all four strains. At 25 µg PT/ml, growth of 25922, 3081, E318N and EDL933 was inhibited for 6, 12 and 24 h, respectively, but 25922 and 3081 resumed growth by 12 and 24 h. Direct plating confirmed bactericidal effects of PT on all four strains at 100 µg/ml, and on EDL933 and E318N at 50 µg/ml. In Exp. 2, strains 25922 and 3081 were incubated with no tannins or with 50 µg/ml of PT, purified condensed tannins (CT) from Quebracho (Schinopsis balansaei), or purified tannic acid from Rhus semialata (Anacardiaceae) as hydrolysable tannins (HT). Strain 3081 was unaffected by HT or CT, but was completely inhibited (p<0.001) by PT at 4, 6 and 24 h. Strain 25922 was unaffected by HT, slightly inhibited by CT, and almost eradicated by PT at 4 and 6 h. Transmission electron microscopy revealed tannin-mediated alterations to bacterial cell walls. Phlorotannins from A. nodosum exhibit growth-inhibiting and bactericidal effects in vitro against the strains of E. coli O157:H7 investigated. Anti-E. coli efficacy of A. nodosum PT is superior to that of terrestrial tannins purified from Quebracho and from Rhus semialata.

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