A review on antimicrobial activity of mushroom (basidiomycetes) extracts and isolated compounds

Maria José Alves, Isabel F. R. Ferreira*, Joana Dias, Vânia Teixeira, Anabela Martins, Manuela Pintado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

268 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the huge diversity of antibacterial compounds, bacterial resistance to first-choice antibiotics has been drastically increasing. Moreover, the association between multiresistant microorganisms and nosocomial infections highlight the problem, and the urgent need for solutions. Natural resources have been exploited in the last years and among them, mushrooms could be an alternative source of new antimicrobials. In this review, we present an overview of the antimicrobial properties of mushroom extracts and highlight some of the active compounds identified, including low- and high-molecular weight (LMW and HMW, respectively) compounds. LMW compounds are mainly secondary metabolites, such as sesquiterpenes and other terpenes, steroids, anthraquinones, benzoic acid derivatives, and quinolines, but also primary metabolites such as oxalic acid. HMW compounds are mainly peptides and proteins. Data available from the literature indicate a higher antimicrobial activity of mushroom extracts against gram-positive bacteria. Among all the mushrooms, Lentinus edodes is the most studied species and seems to have a broad antimicrobial action against both gram-postive and gram-negative bacteria. Plectasin peptide, obtained from Pseudoplectania nigrella, is the isolated compound with the highest antimicrobial activity against gram-positive bacteria, while 2-aminoquinoline, isolated from Leucopaxillus albissimus, presents the highest antimicrobial activity against gram-negative bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1707-1718
Number of pages12
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Antimicrobials
  • Basidiomycetes
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • Mushrooms


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