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Cranberries have a long history of use in the prevention of urinary tract infections. Cranberry products vary in proanthocyanidin content, a compound implicated in preventing the adhesion of uropathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) to uroepithelial cells. Testing is routinely done by cranberry product formulators to evaluate in vitro bacterial anti-adhesion bioactivity, shelf-life, and potential efficacy of cranberry products for consumer use to maintain urinary tract health. Hemagglutination assays evaluate the anti-adhesion bioactivity of cranberry products by determining how effectively the products prevent agglutination of specific red blood cells with E. coli expressing P-type and Type 1 fimbriae. The current study sought to improve upon an established anti-adhesion assay method by expanding the number of E. coli strains used to broaden potential in vivo efficacy implications and presenting results using photomicrographic data to improve accuracy and build databases on products that are routinely tested. Different lots of cranberry powder ingredient and two formulated products were tested independently for anti-adhesion activity using the established method and the improved method. Positive harmonization of results on the same samples using rigorous controls was achieved and provides the substantiation needed for the cranberry industry to utilize the improved, rapid in vitro testing method to standardize cranberry products for sufficient anti-adhesion bioactivity and maintain consumer confidence.


Scott Bosley, Christian G Krueger, Andrew Birmingham, Amy B Howell, Jess D Reed. Improved in vitro Hemagglutination Assays Utilizing P-Type and Type 1 Uropathogenic Escherichia coli to Evaluate Bacterial Anti-Adhesion Activity of Cranberry Products. Journal of dietary supplements. 2024;21(3):327-343

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PMID: 37961872

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