In vitro activity of Inula helenium against clinical Staphylococcus aureus strains including MRSA.
Department of Biological Sciences, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland.
The present study aims to investigate the bactericidal activity (specifically antistaphylococcal) of Inula helenium. The antimicrobial activity of the extract is tested against 200 clinically significant Irish Staphylococcus aureus isolates consisting of methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and -sensitive (MSSA) S. aureus using a drop test method and a microbroth dilution method. The antibacterial effect is evaluated by measuring the area of the inhibition zone against the isolates. Results proved I. helenium to be 100% effective against the 200 staphylococci tested, with 93% of isolates falling within the ++ and +++ groups. The minimum bactericidal concentration of I. helenium was examined on a subset of isolates and values ranged from 0.9 mg/mL to 9.0 mg/mL. The extract was equally effective against antibiotic-resistant and -sensitive strains. This plant therefore possesses compounds with potent antistaphylococcal properties, which in the future could be used to complement infection control policies and prevent staphylococcal infection and carriage. This research supports other studies wherein herbal plants exhibiting medicinal properties are being examined to overcome the problems of antibiotic resistance and to offer alternatives in the treatment and control of infectious diseases