Bio-Activity of Natural Polymers from the Genus Pistacia: A Validated Model for Their Antimicrobial Action

  •  Mohammad Sharifi    
  •  Diako Ebrahimi    
  •  David Brynn Hibbert    
  •  James Hook    
  •  Stuart Loyd Hazell    


The polymers from mastic gum of Pistacia lentiscose and subspecies of Pistacia atlantica, (sp. kurdica, mutica and cabolica) have been isolated and  characterised by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and 13C NMR spectroscopy as cis-1,4-poly-?-myrcenes. They were screened against Helicobacter pylori and other Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria to evaluate their antimicrobial action. In order to further test their hypothesised mode of action, two polymer types were synthesized: one from myrcene, and four from polyvinyl alcohols of different molecular weights, derivatised with p-hydroxybenzoate. The anti-microbial activity of these polymers, evaluated through their ‘kill’ kinetics, was found to be related to their functional groups, their molecular weight and their solubility.

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