Antiadhesive property of microalgal polysaccharide extract on the binding of Helicobacter pylori to gastric mucin


  • Editor: Johannes Kusters

Correspondence: Bow Ho, Department of Microbiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, MD4, 5, Science Drive 2, Singapore 117597. Tel.: +65 6516 3672; fax: +65 6776 6872; e-mail:


The emergence of antibiotic-resistant Helicobacter pylori is of concern in the treatment of H. pylori-associated gastroduodenal diseases. As the organism was reported to bind gastric mucin, we used porcine gastric mucin as substrate to assess the antiadhesive property of polysaccharides derived from Spirulina (PS), a commercially available microalga, against the binding of H. pylori to gastric mucin. Results show that polysaccharides prevented H. pylori from binding to gastric mucin optimally at pH 2.0, without affecting the viability of either bacteria or gastric epithelial cells, thus favouring its antiadhesive action in a gastric environment. Using ligand overlay analysis, polysaccharide was demonstrated to bind H. pylori alkyl hydroperoxide reductase (AhpC) and urease, which have shown here to possess mucin-binding activity. An in vivo study demonstrated that bacteria load was reduced by >90% in BALB/c mice treated with either Spirulina or polysaccharides. It is thus suggested that polysaccharides may function as a potential antiadhesive agent against H. pylori colonization of gastric mucin.