Technology Listings

Plant Extracts for Treatment of Drug Resistant MRSA


Use of plant derivatives for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Key Benefits
  • Unique mechanism of action blocks Staphylococcus aureus virulence and pathogenesis without detectable resistance.
  • Potential adjuvant therapy for S. aureus, as this solution enhances response to concomitant antibiotic therapy.
Market Summary

Staphylococcus aureus (also referred to as S. aureus or staph) is an abundant, opportunistic pathogen that is the causative agent of numerous infections. Due to its prevalence as a leading cause of healthcare associated infection and its highly multidrug resistant nature, S. aureus is listed among pathogens included under the CDC’s “serious threat” list. The CDC reports over 80,000 invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and 11,285 related deaths occur each year. This presents a huge risk as MRSA is one of the toughest strains of staph to treat, since it is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. MRSA is a significant health problem that only appears to be increasing in severity with time, as such new treatment strategies are need.

Technical Summary

Emory Researchers in Quave Labs have discovered derivatives from the Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut) and S. terbinthifolia (Brazilian pepper tree) plant which inhibit MRSA infection. MRSA is known to coordinate many of its virulence and pathogenesis pathways via microbial communication. These plant extracts demonstrate antibacterial properties against MRSA, inhibiting the microbial communication system known to coordinate biofilm formation, virulence, and antibiotic resistance. Application of the derivatives resulted in decreased toxin outputs and lowered hemolytic activity. This indicates that the extracts have the ability to attenuate MRSA illness. Overall, these derivatives have the potential to be used in the treatment against MRSA, as repeat exposure of S. aureus to the extracts did not result in detectable resistance. In addition, it was shown that the extracts attenuated progression of MRSA lesions in animal infection studies.

Development Stage

Mouse model studies have been conducted.


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Patent Information
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 15/192,514 10,195,241 6/28/2016 2/5/2019 7/9/2036 Issued
Utility (parent) United States 15/205,493 10,675,315 7/8/2016 6/9/2020 4/21/2038 Pending
Tech ID: NCS.22
Published: 3/28/2017

John Nicosia
Licensing Associate
Emory University

Cassandra Quave
James Lyles
Alexander Horswill

Microbiology/Infectious Diseases