Additive Effect of MCP in Combination with Cefotaxime Against Staphylococcus aureus

Med Chem. 2017;13(7):682-688. doi: 10.2174/1573406413666170306112444.


Background: Pectin is a heterogeneous polysaccharide present in plants and citrus fruits. It exhibits different beneficial biological activities. Conflicting reports exist about the antimicrobial effect of pectin and its derivatives.

Objective: In this study, we investigate the antimicrobial effect of Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) against Staphylococcus aureus, a pathogen showing increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance worldwide.

Method: Forty-three clinical isolates of S. aureus were obtained from a hospital in North Lebanon. Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentrations (MBCs) were determined using MCP after determining its optimum pH activity. The combination between MCP and cefotaxime was then investigated for S. aureus isolates using the checkerboard technique.

Results and discussion: The optimum pH for the activity of MCP was 6.0. MIC and MBC values against S. aureus ranged between 0.39-50 µg/µl and 3.13-50 µg/µl, respectively. These values are promising for using MCP in the inhibition of some S. aureus isolates at relatively low concentrations. Combination experiments showed an additive effect in most S. aureus strains between MCP and cefotaxime, and a synergistic effect in two strains. These preliminary findings open the way for further investigation into the therapeutic potential of MCP in the treatment of S. aureus infections.

Conclusion: MCP demonstrates in vitro antimicrobial activity alone and in combination with cefotaxime against S. aureus.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; MRSA; Staphylococcus aureus; checkerboard; combination therapy; modified citrus pectin.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cefotaxime / pharmacology*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Drug Synergism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Pectins / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • citrus pectin
  • Pectins
  • Cefotaxime