Antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity of propolis of different geographic origin

J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Mar;64(3):235-40. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00131-7.


Propolis samples from different geographic origins were investigated for their antibacterial (against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli), antifungal (against Candida albicans) and antiviral (against Avian influenza virus) activities. All samples were active against the fungal and Gram-positive bacterial test strains, and most showed antiviral activity. The activities of all samples were similar in spite of the differences in their chemical composition. In samples from the temperate zone, flavonoids and esters of phenolic acids are known to be responsible for the above mentioned activities of bee glue; tropical samples did not contain such substances but showed similar activities. Obviously, in different samples, different substance combinations are essential for the biological activity of the bee glue. It seems that propolis has general pharmacological value as a natural mixture and not as a source of new powerful antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Antiviral Agents / toxicity
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Chick Embryo
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / virology
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects*
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Propolis / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Propolis