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Euphorbia hirta and biofilm inhibition and eradication.

Perumal S, Mahmud R. 2013. Chemical analysis, inhibition of biofilm formation and biofilm eradication potential of Euphorbia hirta L. against clinical isolates and standard strains. BMC Complement Altern Med;13(346):1-10. doi: 10.1186/1472-688213-346

In recent years, the increasing occurrence of antibiotic-resistant biofilm forming pathogens has become a global issue of concern. Approximately 70% of all microbial infections are associated with biofilms, which develop when planktonic microorganisms aggregate together forming a thin layer. Close contact of several of these thin layers leads to the growth of dense, three dimensional structures accommodating millions of planktonic cells operating together to form a shield called biofilm. Biofilms are more difficult to treat as bacteria within are vastly resistant to potent antibacterial agents.

Euphorbia hirta L., of the Euphorbiaceae family, has been used traditionally for treatment of gastrointestinal,, bronchial and respiratory disorders and its proven pharmacological activities include antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, diuretic, anthelmintic, antihypertensive, anxiolytic, antimalarial and anti-inflammatory. The aim of this study was to analyse the potency of E. hirta extracts as a potential biofilm inhibitor and eradicator against clinical isolates and standard strains, as well as comprehensively characterise the methanolic extract of E. hirta aerial part grown in Malaysia using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

Susceptibility of E.hirta to a variety of clinically resistant gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria capable of forming biofilms and causing severe infections were tested, with minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) being assessed using two-fold serial dilutions of E. hirta extract with 1mg/1ml as the highest in-test concentration. Cefepime, a clinically established antibiotic, was used in a parallel experiment as a positive drug control. MIC was defined as the lowest extract concentration that completely inhibits the growth of microorganisms. MBCs were determined as the lowest concentration that yielded nil bacterial growth on agar plates.

Among all the pathogens assessed, Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most susceptible to E. hirta extract. Moderate growth inhibition was observed against Enterococcus faecalis, Bacillus cereus and P aeruginosa. Mild antibacterial activity of E. hirta was observed against Salmonella typhi, Bacillus subtillis and Staphylococcus aureus. Biofilm inhibition activity of E. hirta was most potent against P. aeruginosa with some inhibition also observed against E. faecalis. Additionally, E. hirta extract effectively eradicated the established biofilm of P aeruginosa with some weak anti-biofilm activity also demonstrated against E. faecalis.

The GC-MS profile of the methanol extract of E. hirta revealed nineteen chemical compounds, of which terpenoids was the most abundant. It was suggested that the observed broad-spectrum antibacterial activity of E. hirta could be attributed to the terpenoids, with the detachment of planktonic cells from the biofilm and altering the composition of the cell membrane as possible modes of action.

Given the serious health threats of antibiotic resistant infections, this study provides important and valuable findings for the potential of Euphorbia hirta in the treatment of infectious ailments. The antibacterial and biofilm inhibitory and eradication activity of E. hirta against Pseudomonas aeruginosa demonstrates its effectiveness in infections caused by this pathogen. Future research to investigate the potential role of using E. hirta as a biofilm control agent in infection prevention in hospitals and healthcare centres is warranted. Additionally, research investigating the potential to combine E. hirta with specific antibiotics to assess possible synergy through different antibacterial actions may provide beneficial information against resistance infections. Given the current demonstrated efficacy of E. hirta against P. aeruginosa, it is important to review appropriate use of the herb with respect to dosing and duration, as well as monitor any patterns of resistance that may develop to ensure ongoing effectiveness of the herb in the future.
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Author:Tester, Jodie
Publication:Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2014
Words:603
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