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Antibacterial properties of a glycolipid-rich extract and active principle from Nunavik collections of the macroalgae Fucus evanescens C. Agardh (Fucaceae)

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This study investigated the antibacterial activity of glycolipid-rich extracts of the brown macroalga Fucus evanescens in cell culture. Accessions were collected on the Arctic coast of Ungava Bay, Nunavik, Quebec. The crude ethyl acetate extract of these accessions showed strong antibacterial activity (≥4 log10 cfu) against Hemophilus influenzae, Legionella pneumophila, Propionibacterium acnes (ATCC and clinical isolate), and Streptococcus pyogenes at 100 µg/mL. This algal extract inhibited by 3 log10 Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, whereas Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were not significantly affected. Further investigations of the activity of a glycolipid-rich fraction, extracted with dichloromethane, against Propionibacterium acnes showed an MIC100 of 50 µg/mL, with an inhibition of more than 99% at only 7.8 µg/mL. The main active compound, a β-d-galactosyl O-linked glycolipid, was synthesized for the bioassay and showed an MIC100 of 50 µg/mL but lost its activity more quickly with only 50% of inhibition at 12.5 µg/mL. Therefore, the semipurified F. evanescens extract could be a good choice for future research into the development of alternative treatments for acne therapy.

Keywords: Fucus evanescens (Fucaceae); acne therapy; activité antibactérienne; algues brunes; antibacterial activity; brown seaweeds; glycolipides; glycolipids; thérapie de l’acné

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada. 2: Department of Chemistry, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada. 3: Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada. 4: Nunavik Biosciences Inc., Montréal, QC H4M 2X6, Canada.

Publication date: 2011-09-30

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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