The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of seasons on the chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Brazilian red propolis (BRP) and its plant source. BRP was collected from Maceio, Alagoas state, north-east of Brazil, during one year. Chemical composition was determined by physicochemical analyses and HPLC while antimicrobial activity was assessed against Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Staphylococcus aureus and Actinomyces naeslundii by determining the minimal inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MIC and MBC, respectively). The comparative chemical profiles varied quantitatively according to the collection period. Formononetin was the most abundant compound in both propolis and resin, while isoliquiritigenin, (3S)-neovestitol, (3S)-vestitol are suggested to be responsible for antimicrobial activity of Brazilian red propolis. MIC varied from 15.6 to 125 μg/mL, whereas MBC varied from 31.2 to 500 μg/mL. Therefore, season in which propolis and its botanical source are collected indeed influences their chemical compositions, resulting in variations in their antibacterial activity.
Keywords: Apis mellifera; Brazilian red propolis; Propolis; antimicrobial; phenolic compounds; seasonal effect.