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We examined the bactericidal activity of tea and catechins against Bordetella pertussis. Green tea, black tea and coffee showed marked bactericidal activity at their concentrations in beverages, while pu-erh tea killed the bacteria in a moderate way. (-) Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) and theaflavin digallate (TF3) showed also marked bactericidal activity. Green tea and black tea also effectively blocked the adhesion of B. pertussis to HeLa and CHO cells, whereas ECGg and TF3 could not. EGCg and TF3 markedly inactivated leuco-lymphocytosis promoting activity of pertussis toxin.Black tea showed slight but significant inactivation of the activity, whereas green tea showed no inactivation. These results suggest that green tea, black tea, EGCg and TF3 might act as prophylactic agents against pertussis infection.Horiuchi Y, Toda M, Okubo S, et al. [Protective activity of tea and catechins against Bordetella pertussis]. Kansenshogaku Zasshi 66:599-605; 1992.