Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3823

Full Length Research Paper

Antibacterial activity of elder (Sambucus nigra L.) flower or berry against hospital pathogens

Caroline Hearst1,2, Graham McCollum3, David Nelson3, Linda M. Ballard4, B. Cherie Millar3, Colin E. Goldsmith3, Paul J. Rooney3, Anne Loughrey3, John E. Moore3,5 and Juluri R. Rao1,5*
1Applied Plant Science Division, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Newforge Lane, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 5PX. 2Grosvenor Grammar School, Cameronian Drive, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT5 6AX. 3Northern Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD. 4Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, BT18 0EU. 5School of Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 June 2010
  •  Published: 04 September 2010


An evidence-based scientific scrutiny of Irish traditional medicines for their antimicrobial potency is urgently required for combating antibiotic resistant common nosocomial pathogens. We now report our seminal findings on the major constituents including terpenes identified in native, historically significant herbal medicinal plant Elder (Sambucus nigra L.flower and elder berry in particular and their concomitant strong antimicrobial effects exhibited on various nosocomial pathogens notably upon methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA, recognised globally as a clinically significant pathogen, associated with skin and soft tissue infections.


Key words: Traditional Irish medicinal plants, MRSA, antibacterial activity.