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Keywords:

  • anti-infective agents;
  • Apidae;
  • foodborne pathogens;
  • microbicides;
  • natural products

Abstract

Propolis acts primarily as a biocide against invasive bacteria and fungi in the hive, suggesting its potential for industrial applications. In food application, propolis is considered as a chemical preservative in meat products, extending shelf life of frozen meat and other food. The mechanism of action is still unclear due to the synergy of multiple compounds contained in propolis and due to parallel targeting of multiple pathways within each affected organism. Here, we examined the antimicrobial properties of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) Czech propolis extract. Until recently, DMSO was only rarely used in the propolis studies, although the other solvents tested (mostly ethanol) may significantly affect the observed inhibitory effects, notwithstanding the antimicrobial effects of ethanol itself. Here, we provide results of zone inhibition tests against Aspergillus fumigatus, Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum canis, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis. Although we determined inhibitory effects against all the microorganisms tested, the dose-dependent response curves were not similar to each other. While inhibitory effects against C. albicans or S. aureus were strictly dose-dependent, responses of M. gypseum and E. faecalis displayed plateau across the broad range of concentrations tested. Interestingly, response of E. coli revealed the double-peak dose-dependent curve, and responses of M. canis and L. monocytogenes decreased at the highest concentrations tested. Suggested is evaluation of DMSO propolis extracts in experimental treatment of human and veterinary infections, preferably in multitherapy with antibiotics.

Practical Application

In food application, propolis is considered as a chemical preservative in meat products, extending shelf life of frozen meat and others food. Here, we provide the evidence that DMSO Czech propolis extract can be used against a broad spectrum of microorganisms (Aspergillus fumigatus, Microsporum gypseum, Microsporum canis, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis), and suggest its further testing in combination with antibiotics. The obtained data allow tailoring more precisely propolis use in the food industry and support extraction and further use of its active compounds.