A combination effect of epigallocatechin gallate, a major compound of green tea catechins, with antibiotics on Helicobacter pylori growth in vitro

Curr Microbiol. 2003 Sep;47(3):244-9. doi: 10.1007/s00284-002-3956-6.


Since green tea catechins are known to have antimicrobial activity against a variety of microorganisms, their possible effects on Helicobacter pylori in combination with antibiotics were examined. Fifty-six clinical isolates of H. pylori, including 19 isolates highly resistant to metronidazole (MTZ) and/or clarithromycin (CLR), were used to determine in vitro sensitivity to tea catechins. The MIC90 of both epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) and epicatechin gallate (ECg) was 100 microg/ml. However, other tea catechins tested did not show any anti-H. pylori activity. Highly antibiotic-resistant clinical isolates showed a similar sensitivity to both EGCg and ECg. The kinetic study of antibacterial activity in liquid cultures revealed a relatively slow but strong activity on the growth of H. pylori. In combination with sub-MIC of amoxicillin (AMX), the antibacterial activity of AMX was significantly enhanced by the presence of EGCg. To estimate the general combination effect between EGCg and other antibiotics, such as MTZ and CLR, on the antibacterial activity against clinical isolates, the fraction inhibitory concentration (FIC) was determined by checkerboard study. The FIC indexes showed additive effects between EGCg and antibiotics tested. These results indicatethat EGCg may be a valuable therapeutic agent against H. pylori infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amoxicillin / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology*
  • Clarithromycin / pharmacology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Synergism
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Helicobacter pylori / growth & development
  • Metronidazole / pharmacology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Metronidazole
  • Amoxicillin
  • Catechin
  • epicatechin gallate
  • epigallocatechin gallate
  • Clarithromycin