Camellia sinensis polysaccharide has been reported to possess anti-adhesive activity against pathogens. The present study was designed to investigate whether hot water extracts obtained from green tea leaves might inhibit pathogen adhesion to human or mouse cell lines. Green tea extract-4 (CSI-4) with the maximum yield of 4% (w/v) is composed of a major proportion of carbohydrates containing 40% uronic acids, but lack of catechins. It showed strong inhibitory activities against hemagglutination mediated by pathogens Helicobacter pylori, Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus aureus with the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 0.01-0.5 mg/mL. CSI-4 further demonstrated an inhibitory effect on the adhesion of these pathogens to host cell lines with the IC50 values (50% inhibition of adhesion) of 0.14–2.3 mg/mL. It exhibited the highest activity against P. acnes, but no inhibitory effects were observed against Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Escherichia coli, or Staphylococcus epidermidis. Our results suggest that CSI-4 may exert a selective anti-adhesive effect against certain pathogenic bacteria with no adverse effects against beneficial or commensal bacteria. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.