Methanol extract of Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx fruit has antibacterial and anti-biofilm activity against Streptococcus pyogenes in vitro.
Biosci Trends. 2019 May 12 ;13(2):145-151. Epub 2019 Apr 16. PMID: 30996209
Streptococcus pyogenes causes several infectious diseases such as tonsillitis, cellulitis, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. As antibiotics are used for the general treatment of S. pyogenes infection, cases of treatment failure due to drug-resistant bacteria have increased. Lonicera caerulea var. emphyllocalyx (LCE) has been used as a folk medicine in northern Japan (Hokkaido). In this study, we investigated the antibacterial effect of methanol extracts of the fruit, stem, and leaf of LCE (LCEEs) against S. pyogenes using disk diffusion assay. As LCEE (fruit) had the strongest antibacterial activity among the three LCEEs, we focused on functional analysis of antibacterial effects of LCEE (fruit). LCEE (fruit) suppressed the growth of S. pyogenes in a dose-dependent manner. Morphological analysis by transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that LCEE (fruit) damaged the shape of S. pyogenes. Microplate and confocal laser microscopy analysis showed that biofilm formation was also suppressed by LCEE (fruit) in a dose-dependent manner. To further evaluate the surface structure of these biofilms, we performed hydrophobic analysis, which demonstrated that LCEE (fruit) reduced the hydrophobicity of the bacterial surface structure. Our data demonstrated that LCEE (fruit) had anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm effects on S. pyogenes in vitro, suggesting that the direct anti-bacterial effects of the LCEE (fruit) may be useful for treatment of local S. pyogenes infection.