Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression

Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 29;8(1):1732. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x.


The global escalation in antibiotic resistance cases means alternative antimicrobials are essential. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial capacity of apple cider vinegar (ACV) against E. coli, S. aureus and C. albicans. The minimum dilution of ACV required for growth inhibition varied for each microbial species. For C. albicans, a 1/2 ACV had the strongest effect, S. aureus, a 1/25 dilution ACV was required, whereas for E-coli cultures, a 1/50 ACV dilution was required (p < 0.05). Monocyte co-culture with microbes alongside ACV resulted in dose dependent downregulation of inflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-6). Results are expressed as percentage decreases in cytokine secretion comparing ACV treated with non-ACV treated monocytes cultured with E-coli (TNFα, 99.2%; IL-6, 98%), S. aureus (TNFα, 90%; IL-6, 83%) and C. albicans (TNFα, 83.3%; IL-6, 90.1%) respectively. Proteomic analyses of microbes demonstrated that ACV impaired cell integrity, organelles and protein expression. ACV treatment resulted in an absence in expression of DNA starvation protein, citrate synthase, isocitrate and malate dehydrogenases in E-coli; chaperone protein DNak and ftsz in S. aureus and pyruvate kinase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, fructose bisphosphate were among the enzymes absent in C.albican cultures. The results demonstrate ACV has multiple antimicrobial potential with clinical therapeutic implications.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid / isolation & purification
  • Acetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Immunologic Factors / isolation & purification
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Malus / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Monocytes / drug effects*
  • Proteome / analysis


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Proteome
  • Acetic Acid