Brazilian Journal of Biological Sciences (ISSN 2358-2731)

Home Archive v. 5, no. 10 (2018) Abiya


Vol. 5, No. 10, p. 277-288 - Aug. 31, 2018


Antimicrobial activity of three medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria Propionibacterium acnes

S. E. Abiya and B. O. Odiyi and L. R. Falarunu and N. U. Abiya

The antimicrobial activities of three medicinal plants (Senna alata L., Azadirachta indica A. Juss, and Aloe vera (L.) Burm.f.) against pimples causing bacterium Propionibacterium acnes was studied using disc diffusion method. Extracts from each plant were used on the bacterium at three different dosage concentrations (0.1 mL, 0.15 mL and 0.2 mL). Their Zone of inhibition was measured in millimeter (mm) and compared against a known synthetic standard (Gentamycin). Results indicate that the plants differ significantly in their activity against the studied microorganism. S. alata had the highest inhibitory effect of all the plants used (26.00 mm, 30.67 mm and 36.00 mm, for 0.1 mL, 0.15 mL and 0.2 mL dosage concentration, respectively). This was followed by A. indica with 9.33 mm, 15.67 mm and 16.67 mm zone of inhibition for 0.1 mL, 0.15 mL and 0.2 mL dosage concentration, respectively. A. vera had no effect (0.0 mm zone of inhibition) at 0.1 mL and 0.15 mL dosage concentrations, but at 2.0 mL dosage concentration, 4.0 mm zone of inhibition was achieved. Gentamycin showed zones of inhibition of 17.33 mm, 26.67 mm and 22.67 mm, for 0.1 mL, 0.15 mL and 0.2 mL dosage concentration, respectively. A comparison of all result obtained from the three plant extracts and gentamycin shows that S. alata have a significantly higher (p > 0.05) inhibitory effect against the pimples causing bacterium; Propionibacterium acnes than all the other treatments. The trend follows S. alata > Gentamycin > A. indica > A. vera, respectively, in terms of their inhibitory effect. Therefore, S. alata is more active and is the most appropriate plant to be used for treating of acne vulgaris among the three plant species selected for this experiment.

Propionibacterium acnes; Antimicrobial; Zone of inhibition; Medicinal plants.


Full text

Abreu, A. C.; Mcbain, A.J.; Simões, M. Plants as sources of new antimicrobials and resistance-modifying agents. Natural Product Report, v. 29, p. 1007-1021, 2012.

Chomnawang, M. T.; Surassmo, S.; Nukoolkarn, V. S.; Gritsanapan, W. Antimicrobial effects of Thai medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, v. 101, no. 1/3, p. 330-333, 2005.

Cowan, M. M. Plant products as antimicrobial agents. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, v. 12, p. 564-582, 1999.

Crozier, A.; Clifford, M.N.; Ashihara, H. Plant secondary metabolites occurrence, structure and role in the human diet. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.

Ericsson, H. M.; Sherris, J. C. Antibiotic sensitivity testing. Report of an international collaborative study. Acta Pathol. Microbiol. Scand. B Microbiol. Immunol., v. 217, no. 1, p. 27-30, 1971.

Hanna, S.; Sharma, J.; Klotz, J. Acne vulgaris: More than skin deep. Dermatology Online Journal, v. 9, p. 8, 2003.

Harborne, J. B. Classes and functions of secondary products from plants. In: Walton, N. J.; Brown, D. E. (eds.). Chemicals from Plants. London: Imperial College Press, 1999. p. 1-25.

Heinrich, M.; Barnes, J.; Gibbons, S.; Williamson, E. M. Fundamentals of pharmacognosy and phytotherapy. 1. ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2004, p. 245-252.

Hoeffler, U.; Ko, H. L.; Pulverer, G. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes and related microbial species. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, v. 10, no. 3, p. 387-394, 1976.

Pukumpuang, W.; Thongwai, N.; Tragoolpua, Y. Total phenoloic contents, antibacterial and antioxidant activities of some Thai medicinal plant extract. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, v. 6, no. 35, p. 4953-4960, 2012.

Kim, J.; Ochoa, M. T.; Krutzik, S. R.; Takeuchi, O.; Uematsu, S.; Legaspi, A. J. Activation of toll-like receptor 2 in acne triggers inflammatory cytokine responses. Jounal of Immunology, v. 169, p. 1535-1341, 2002.

Lalla, J. K.; Nandedkar, S. Y.; Paranjape, M. H.; Talreja, N. B. Clinical trials of ayurvedic formulations in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Journal of Ethnopharmacolology, v. 78, no. 1, p. 99-102, 2001.

Nasri, H.; Bahmani, M.; Shahinfard, N.; Nafchi, A. M.; Sabrerianpour, S.; Kopaei, M. R. Medicinal plants for the treatment of acne vulgaris: A review of recent evidences. Jundishapour Journal of Microbiology, v. 8, no. 11, e25580, 2015.

Owoyale, J. A.; Olatunji, G. A.; Oguntoye, S. O. Antifungal and antibacterial activities of an alcoholic extract of Senna alata leaves. Journal of Applied Science and Environmental Management, v. 9, no. 3, p. 105-107, 2005.

Pichersky, E.; Gershenzon, J. The formation and function of plant volatiles: Perfumes for pollinator attraction and defense. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, v. 5, p. 237-243, 2002.

Serrentino, J. How natural remedies work. Point Robert: Harley and Marks Publishers, 1991. p. 20-22.

Swanson, J. K. Antibiotic resistance of Propionibacterium acnes in acne vulgaris. Dermatology Nursey, v. 15, no. 4, p. 359 362, 2003.

Siddiqui, A. A.; Ali, M. Practical Pharmaceutical Chemistry. 1. ed. New Delhi: CBS Publishers and Distributors, 1997. p. 126-131.

Thiboutot, D.; Gollnick, H.; Bettoli, V.; Dréno, B., Kang, S.; Leyden, J. J. New insights into the management of acne: An update from the global alliance to improve outcomes in acne group. Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, v. 60, no. 5, p. 1-50, 2009.