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Abstract Detail

Phytochemical Section

Mason, Quinn [1], Ross Friedman, Cynthia [1].

Extraction, Partial Purification and Susceptibility Testing of a Potentially Novel Antibiotic from Lodgepole Pine Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum).

A. americanum is a dioecious parasitic plant that infects lodgepole pine in British Columbia. It is considered a forest pest and causes the trees to grow in an unsymmetrical manner resulting in reduced wood quality and ultimately lost revenue to the forest industry. As such, it was previously thought that there was no benefit to its presence, however previous work identified a methanolic extract from the plant that showed antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria. Misuse of antibiotics has resulted in the emergence resistant bacteria with unsurpassed adaptability to modified antibacterial agents. The continual appearance of these pathogens has resulted in a constant need for novel antibiotics. Here, we demonstrate a basal purification protocol that removes many inactive components of the raw extract and serves to concentrate the active portion. This theory was supported experimentally by an observed increase in antimicrobial activity measured via a disc-diffusion bioassay at fixed concentrations as the purification procedure progressed. In order to explore the spectrum of this antimicrobial we performed susceptibility tests on various medically relevant microorganisms and found the extract to be active against a narrow range of Gram positive bacteria only. This is a promising result as the development of antibiotic resistance and secondary infection is slowed or halted by destroying only the pathogenic organisms. Narrow spectrum antibiotics target only specific bacteria and limit collateral damage to natural flora. These findings represent a possible beneficial property of an otherwise solely detrimental forest pest.

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1 - Thompson Rivers University, Department of Biological Sciences, Box 3010, 900 McGill Road, Kamloops, BC, V2C 5N3, Canada

Dwarf mistletoe
Arceuthobium americanum.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 57
Location: 211/SUB
Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: 57004
Abstract ID:619

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