Neutralization of cholera toxin by Rosaceae family plant extracts

Magdalena Komiazyk, Malgorzata Palczewska, Izabela Sitkiewicz, Slawomir Pikula, Patrick Groves

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cholera is one of the most deadly diarrheal diseases that require new treatments. We investigated the neutralization of cholera toxin by five plant extracts obtained from the Rosaceae family that have been traditionally used in Poland to treat diarrhea (of unknown origin). Methods: Hot water extracts were prepared from the dried plant materials and lyophilized before phytochemical analysis and assessment of antimicrobial activity using microdilution assays. The ability of the plant extracts to neutralize cholera toxin was analyzed by measurement of cAMP levels in cell cultures, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and electrophoresis, as well as flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy studies of fluorescent-labeled cholera toxins with cultured human fibroblasts. Results: The antimicrobial assays displayed modest bacteriostatic potentials. We found that the plant extracts modulate the effects of cholera toxin on intracellular cAMP levels. Three plant extracts (Agrimonia eupatoria L., Rubus fruticosus L., Fragaria vesca L.) suppressed the binding of subunit B of cholera toxin to the cell surface and immobilized ganglioside GM1 while two others (Rubus idaeus L., Rosa.canina L.) interfered with the toxin internalization process. Conclusions: The traditional application of the Rosaceae plant infusions for diarrhea appears relevant to cholera, slowing the growth of pathogenic bacteria and either inhibiting the binding of cholera toxin to receptors or blocking toxin internalization. The analyzed plant extracts are potential complements to standard antibiotic treatment and Oral Rehydration Therapy for the treatment of cholera.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


  • Cholera toxin
  • Diarrhea
  • Herbal remedies
  • Plant extracts
  • Rosaceae


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