Journal of
Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

  • Abbreviation: J. Pharmacognosy Phytother.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2502
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 223

Full Length Research Paper

Antimicrobial properties of protein extracts from wild mushroom fungi and native plant species against hospital pathogens

Michael Hearst1,2, David Nelson3, Graham McCollum3, Linda M. Ballard4, B. Cherie Millar3, Sara Moore5, Stephen McClean5, 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: 08 November 2010
  •  Published: 31 December 2010


Protein extracts of either native or exotic rare mushroom fungi and plants that are normally known for novel therapeutics including immune modulation were investigated for their potential antimicrobial effects. Data obtained using the Kirby-Bauer’s disc-diffusion assay methods showed that a number of locally sourced wild mushroom fungi (e.g. Ganoderma resinaceumRussula fragilis and Inocybe grammata) had proteins with inherent antimicrobial properties against a number of typical hospital pathogens. The wild type fungus Mycena pura exhibited strong antagonism against Escherichia coli, an organism often commonly associated with nosocomial infections both locally and worldwide. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) of protein extracts revealed unique protein banding patterns for the exotic fungal species and possessed significant inhibitory effects against a range of nosocomial pathogens including MRSA, SalmonellaCandida and Aspergillusspecies. This small-scale study revealed the occurrence of wild fungal peptides of potential therapeutic significance and antimicrobial potential for exploitation in complementary therapies in clinical and veterinary medicine.


Key words:  Exotic fungi and medicinal plants, antibacterial activity.