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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 761741, 18 pages
Review Article

Combating Pathogenic Microorganisms Using Plant-Derived Antimicrobials: A Minireview of the Mechanistic Basis

Department of Animal Science, University of Connecticut, 3636 Horsebarn Hill Road Extension, Unit 4040, Storrs, CT 06269, USA

Received 25 April 2014; Revised 5 August 2014; Accepted 8 August 2014; Published 14 September 2014

Academic Editor: Vasilis P. Valdramidis

Copyright © 2014 Abhinav Upadhyay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The emergence of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria has led to renewed interest in exploring the potential of plant-derived antimicrobials (PDAs) as an alternative therapeutic strategy to combat microbial infections. Historically, plant extracts have been used as a safe, effective, and natural remedy for ailments and diseases in traditional medicine. Extensive research in the last two decades has identified a plethora of PDAs with a wide spectrum of activity against a variety of fungal and bacterial pathogens causing infections in humans and animals. Active components of many plant extracts have been characterized and are commercially available; however, research delineating the mechanistic basis of their antimicrobial action is scanty. This review highlights the potential of various plant-derived compounds to control pathogenic bacteria, especially the diverse effects exerted by plant compounds on various virulence factors that are critical for pathogenicity inside the host. In addition, the potential effect of PDAs on gut microbiota is discussed.