Abstract Title:

Extracts of edible and medicinal plants damage membranes of Vibrio cholerae.

Abstract Source:

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Aug 27. Epub 2010 Aug 27. PMID: 20802077

Abstract Author(s):

Eduardo Sánchez, Santos García, Norma Heredia

Article Affiliation:

Departamento de Microbiología e Inmunología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. Apdo. Postal 124-F, Ciudad Universitaria, San Nicolás de los Garza, N.L. 66451 México.


The use of natural compounds from plants can provide an alternative approach against food-borne pathogens. The mechanisms of action of most plant extracts with antimicrobial activity have been poorly studied. In this work, changes in membrane integrity, membrane potential, internal pH (pHin), and ATP synthesis were measured in V. cholerae cells after exposure to extracts of edible and medicinal plants. A preliminary screen of methanolic, ethanolic, and aqueous extracts of medicinal and edible plants was performed. Minimal bactericide concentrations (MBC) were measured from extracts showing high antimicrobial activity. Our results indicate that methanolic extracts of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica var Villanueva L.), sweet acacia (Acacia farnesiana L.), and white sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana Nutt.) are the most active against V. cholera, with MBCs ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 mg/ml. Using four fluorogenic techniques, we studied the membrane integrity of V. cholerae cells after exposure to these four extracts. Extracts from these plants were able to disrupt the cell membranes of V. cholerae cells, causing increased membrane permeability, a clear decrease in cytoplasmic pH, cell membrane hyperpolarization, and a decrease in cellular ATP concentration in all strains tested. These four plant extracts could be studied as future alternatives to control V. cholerae contamination in foods and the diseases associated with this microorganism.

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