Antibacterial activity of hydrolyzable tannins derived from medicinal plants against Helicobacter pylori

Microbiol Immunol. 2004;48(4):251-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1348-0421.2004.tb03521.x.


Helicobacter pylori is a major etiological agent in gastroduodenal disorders. In this study, we isolated 36 polyphenols and 4 terpenoids from medicinal plants, and investigated their antibacterial activity against H. pylori in vitro. All hydrolyzable tannins tested demonstrated promising antibacterial activity against H. pylori. Monomeric hydrolyzable tannins revealed especially strong activity. Other compounds demonstrated minimal antibacterial activity with a few exceptions. A monomeric hydrolyzable tannin, Tellimagrandin I demonstrated time- and dose-dependent bactericidal activity against H. pylori in vitro. On the other hand, hydrolyzable tannins did not affect the viability of MKN-28 cells derived from human gastric epithelium. Hydrolyzable tannins, therefore, have potential as new and safe therapeutic regimens against H. pylori infection. Furthermore, we investigated effects of hydrolyzable tannins on lipid bilayer membranes. All the hydrolyzable tannins tested demonstrated dose-dependent membrane-damaging activity. However, it remains to be elucidated whether their membrane-damaging activity directly contributes to their antibacterial action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acids / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Gallic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Gallic Acid / pharmacology
  • Glucosides / pharmacology
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Polyphenols
  • Tannins / chemistry
  • Tannins / pharmacology*
  • Tannins / toxicity
  • Terpenes / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Acids
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Glucosides
  • Hydrolyzable Tannins
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols
  • Tannins
  • Terpenes
  • oenothein A
  • Gallic Acid
  • tellimagrandin I