Current microbiology

Comparison of the effects of antimicrobial agents from three different classes on metabolism of isoflavonoids by colonic microflora using Etest strips.

PMID 22006071


Daidzein (4',7-dihydroxyisoflavone), a phytoestrogen found in soybeans mainly in the form of its glycoside daidzin, is metabolized by colonic bacteria to compounds with altered estrogenic activities, which may affect human health. Antibacterial agents used for the treatment of infections can alter the composition of bacterial populations in the colon and therefore can affect daidzein metabolism. To rapidly detect the effects of different concentrations of antibiotics on daidzein metabolism by colonic bacteria of monkeys and identify the subpopulation involved in daidzein metabolism, Etest strips containing antibacterial agents from three classes (tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, and β-lactams) were used to eliminate the colonic bacteria that were susceptible to 0-32 μg/ml of each antibacterial agent and test the surviving bacteria for their ability to metabolize daidzein. The metabolism of daidzein by the colonic microflora was measured before and after the colonic bacterial population was exposed to antibacterial agents. The metabolites were detected by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry after incubation of the cultures for various times. Exposure of colonic microflora to antibiotics had various effects on daidzein metabolism. Tetracycline completely removed the bacteria metabolizing daidzein, metabolism of daidzein was not changed in cultures of bacteria after ceftriaxone treatment, and ciprofloxacin enriched for the bacteria metabolizing daidzein. In liquid cultures treated with various concentrations of ciprofloxacin, 4 μg/ml of ciprofloxacin favored the growth of bacteria that metabolized daidzein. This is the first time in which the Etest has been used to show that, whereas some antibiotics eliminate phytoestrogen-metabolizing bacteria in colonic microflora, others enrich them by eliminating the non-metabolizing strains in the population.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Daidzin, ≥95.0% (HPLC)
Daidzin, analytical standard