Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Original Article(s)


Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Atomic Energy Commission, Damascus Syria


Background: Medicinal plants are considered new resources for producing agents that could act as alternatives to antibiotics in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of 28 plant extracts and oils against four Gram-negative bacterial species.Methods: Experimental, in vitro, evaluation of the activities of 28 plant extracts and oils as well as some antibiotics against E. coli O157:H7, Yersinia enterocolitica O9, Proteus spp., and Klebsiella pneumoniae was performed. The activity against 15 isolates of each bacterium was determined by disc diffusion method at a concentration of 5%. Microdilution susceptibility assay was used in order to determine the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the plant extracts, oils, and antibiotics.Results: Among the evaluated herbs, only Origanum syriacum L., Thymus syriacus Boiss., Syzygium aromaticum L., Juniperus foetidissima Wild, Allium sativum L., Myristica fragrans Houtt, and Cinnamomum zeylanicum L. essential oils and Laurus nobilis L. plant extract showed anti-bacterial activity. The MIC50 values of these products against the Gram-negative organisms varied from 1.5 (Proteus spp. and K. pneumoniae( and 6.25 µl/ml (Yersinia enterocolitica O9 ) to 12.5 µl/ml (E. coli O:157). Conclusion: Among the studied essential oils, O. syriacum L., T. syriacus Boiss., C. zeylanicum L., and S. aromaticum L. essential oils were the most effective. Moreover, Cephalosporin and Ciprofloxacin were the most effective antibiotics against almost all the studied bacteria. Therefore, O. syriacum L., T. syriacus Boiss., C. zeylanicum L., and S. aromaticum L. could act as bactericidal agents against Gram-negative bacteria.