Wild mushroom extracts potentiate the action of standard antibiotics against multiresistant bacteria

Maria José Alves, I. C. F. R. Ferreira*, I. Lourenço, A. Castro, L. Pereira, A. Martins, M. Pintado

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The main objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of wild mushroom extracts to potentiate the action of standard antibiotics, through synergisms that allow a decrease in their therapeutic doses and ultimately contribute to the reduction of resistances. Methods and Results: Wild mushroom extracts were applied to different multiresistant micro-organisms (Escherichia coli, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing (ESBL) E. coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), combined with commercial antibiotics (penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, cefoxitin, ciprofloxacin, cotrimoxazol, levofloxacin). Microdilution method was used to determine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs). The results obtained showed higher synergistic effects against MRSA than against E. coli. Mycena rosea and Fistulina hepatica were the best extracts for synergistic effects against MRSA. The efficiency of Russula delica extract against E. coli 1 (resistant to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin and trimethoprim/sulfasoxazole) and E. coli 2 (resistant to amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and ampicillin) was higher than that of Leucopaxillus giganteus extract; nevertheless, the latter extract exhibited better synergistic effects against ESBL E. coli. Conclusions: This study shows that, similarly to plants, some mushroom extracts can potentiate the action of antibiotics extensively used in clinical practice for Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria, with positive action even against multiresistant bacteria. Significance and Impact of the Study: Mushroom extracts could decrease therapeutic doses of standard antibiotics and reduce micro-organism's resistance to those drugs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-38
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Antibiotics
  • Multiresistant bacteria
  • Synergism
  • Wild mushroom extracts


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