Role of cranberry on bacterial adhesion forces and implications for Escherichia coli-uroepithelial cell attachment

J Med Food. 2009 Apr;12(2):259-70. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0196.


Previous clinical research has suggested that the consumption of cranberry products prevents the adhesion of Escherichia coli to uroepithelial cells by causing changes in bacterial fimbriae. Atomic force microscopy was used to probe the adhesion forces between E. coli (nonfimbriated strain HB101 and the P-fimbriated variant HB101pDC1) and a model surface (silicon nitride), to determine the effect of growth in cranberry products on bacterial adhesion. Bacteria were grown in tryptic soy broth supplemented with either light cranberry juice cocktail (L-CJC) or cranberry proanthocyanidins (PACs). Growth of E. coli HB101pDC1 and HB101 in L-CJC or PACs resulted in a decrease in adhesion forces with increasing number of cultures. In a macroscale bacteria-uroepithelial cell adhesion assay a decrease in bacterial attachment was observed for E. coli HB101pDC1 grown in L-CJC or PACs. This effect was reversible because bacteria that were regrown in cranberry-free medium regained their ability to attach to uroepithelial cells, and their adhesion forces reverted to the values observed in the control condition. Exposure to increasing concentrations of L-CJC resulted in a decrease of bacterial attachment to uroepithelial cells for the P-fimbriated strain after L-CJC treatment (27% by weight) and after PACs treatment (345.8 microg/mL). Cranberry products affect the surface properties, such as fimbriae and lipopolysaccharides, and adhesion of fimbriated and nonfimbriated E. coli. The concentration of cranberry products and the number of cultures the bacteria were exposed to cranberry determines how much the adhesion forces and attachment are altered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / growth & development
  • Escherichia coli Infections / prevention & control
  • Fimbriae, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Fruit
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology*
  • Silicon Compounds / chemistry
  • Surface Properties / drug effects
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control
  • Urothelium / drug effects*
  • Urothelium / microbiology
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Silicon Compounds
  • silicon nitride