Propolis potentiates the effect of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) against the virulence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli


  • Ranfaing Jérémy
  • Dunyach-Remy Catherine
  • Louis Laurence
  • Lavigne Jean-Philippe
  • Sotto Albert


  • Escherichia coli Infections
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Plant Extracts
  • Drug Synergism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Combination
  • Biofilms
  • Drug Therapy
  • Humans
  • Virulence Factors
  • Urine
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Bacterial
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Fruit
  • Propolis
  • Uropathogenic Escherichia coli
  • Virulence
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon


Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), the most prevalent bacteria isolated in urinary tract infections (UTI), is now frequently resistant to antibiotics used to treat this pathology. The antibacterial properties of cranberry and propolis could reduce the frequency of UTIs and thus the use of antibiotics, helping in the fight against the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Transcriptomic profiles of a clinical UPEC strain exposed to cranberry proanthocyanidins alone (190 \textmug/mL), propolis alone (102.4 \textmug/mL) and a combination of both were determined. Cranberry alone, but more so cranberry + propolis combined, modified the expression of genes involved in different essential pathways: down-expression of genes involved in adhesion, motility, and biofilm formation, and up-regulation of genes involved in iron metabolism and stress response. Phenotypic assays confirmed the decrease of motility (swarming and swimming) and biofilm formation (early formation and formed biofilm). This study showed for the first time that propolis potentiated the effect of cranberry proanthocyanidins on adhesion, motility, biofilm formation, iron metabolism and stress response of UPEC. Cranberry + propolis treatment could represent an interesting new strategy to prevent recurrent UTI.

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