Synergistic antimicrobial activity between pentacyclic triterpenoids and antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus strains
1 School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University, Sunway Campus, Malaysia
2 Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials 2011, 10:25 doi:10.1186/1476-0711-10-25Published: 9 June 2011
There has been considerable effort to discover plant-derived antibacterials against methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which have developed resistance to most existing antibiotics, including the last line of defence, vancomycin. Pentacyclic triterpenoid, a biologically diverse plant-derived natural product, has been reported to show anti-staphylococcal activities. The objective of this study is to evaluate the interaction between three pentacyclic triterpenoid and standard antibiotics (methicillin and vancomycin) against reference strains of Staphylococcus aureus.
Methods and Results
The activity of the standard antibiotics and compounds on reference methicillin-sensitive and resistant strains of S. aureus were determined using the macrodilution broth method. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the compounds was compared with that of the standard antibiotics. The interaction between any two antimicrobial agents was estimated by calculating the fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC index) of the combination. The various combinations of antibiotics and compounds reduced the MIC to a range of 0.05 to 50%.
Pentacyclic triterpenoids have shown anti-staphylococcal activities and although individually weaker than common antibiotics produced from bacteria and fungi, synergistically these compounds may use different mechanism of action or pathways to exert their antimicrobial effects, as implicated in the lowered MICs. Therefore, the use of current antibiotics could be maintained in their combination with plant-derived antibacterial agents as a therapeutic option in the treatment of S. aureus infections.