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*
Plant Science Division, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute,
Newforge Lane, Belfast,
Northern Ireland, BT9 5PX.
Grammar School, Cameronian Drive, Belfast, Northern Ireland,
Ireland Public Health Laboratory, Department of
Bacteriology, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast,
Northern Ireland, BT9 7AD.
Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Holywood, Co. Down,
Northern Ireland, BT18 0EU.
of Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Molecular Biosciences,
University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine, Co.
Londonderry, Northern Ireland, BT52 1SA.
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Accepted 8 November, 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 resinaceum, Russula 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, Salmonella,
Candida and Aspergillus species. 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.
Exotic fungi and medicinal plants, antibacterial activity.