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. 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.


Quave et al. PLoS One. 2015 Aug 21;10(8):e0136486. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136486.
Muhs et al. Nature Scientific Reports. 2017 Feb 10; 7:42275. doi:10.1038/srep42275.

Read our featured innovation.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Utility (parent) United States 15/192,514 10,195,241 6/28/2016 2/5/2019 Issued
Utility (parent) United States 15/205,493 10,675,315 7/8/2016 6/9/2020 Issued
Divisional United States 16/225,281 10,675,321 12/19/2018 6/9/2020 Issued
Continuation in Part United States 16/290,543 11,065,261 3/1/2019 7/20/2021 Issued
Continuation United States 17/357,353 6/24/2021   Pending
Tech ID: NCS.22
Published: 3/28/2017

Jessica Beach
Marketing Specialist
Emory, OTT
(404) 727-1899

Cassandra Quave
James Lyles
Alexander Horswill

Microbiology/Infectious Diseases