Synergistic effect of fucoidan with antibiotics against oral pathogenic bacteria

Arch Oral Biol. 2013 May;58(5):482-92. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2012.11.002. Epub 2013 Feb 8.


Background: Fucoidan is a sulphated polysaccharide that is primarily extracted from brown seaweeds; it has been broadly studied in recent years due to its numerous biological properties, including anticoagulant, antithrombotic, antitumour and antiviral activities.

Objective and design: In this study, fucoidan was evaluated against oral bacteria, either alone or with antibiotics, via the broth dilution method and chequerboard and time-kill assay.

Results: Minimum inhibitory concentration/minimum bactericidal concentration (MIC/MBC) values for the fucoidan against all the tested bacteria ranged between 0.125 and 0.50/0.25 and 1.00mgml(-1), for ampicillin 0.125 and 64/0.5 and 64μgml(-1) and for gentamicin 2 and 256/4 and 512μgml(-1), respectively. Furthermore, the MIC and MBC were reduced to one half-eighth as a result of the combination of the fucoidan with antibiotics. One to 3h of treatment with MIC50 of fucoidan with MIC50 of antibiotics resulted from an increase of the rate of killing in colony forming units (CFUs) ml(-1) to a greater degree than was observed with alone.

Conclusion: These results suggest that fucoidan is important in the antibacterial actions of the agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ampicillin / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / drug effects*
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fucus / chemistry
  • Gentamicins / pharmacology*
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gentamicins
  • Plant Preparations
  • Polysaccharides
  • Ampicillin
  • fucoidan