Objective To evaluate the antimicrobial activity of ethanolic extract of Ecballium elaterium (E. elaterium) fruits alone against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) strains and Candida albicans (C. albicans) strains, or in combination with penicillin against Staphylococcus areus strains. Methods Evaluation of the antimicrobial activity or synergy interaction was carried out using microdilution method.
Results The results showed that ethanolic extract of E. elaterium fruits has antimicrobial activity against methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA), methicillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) and C. albicans. This extract showed a significant decrease in minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of penicillin against both MRSA and MSSA strains. Fractional inhibitory concentration index (FIC) between penicillin and ethanolic extract of E. elaterium fruits against these test strains was less than 0.5.
Conclusions This study suggests that ethanolic extract of E. elaterium fruits has antimicrobial activity against S. aureus and C. albicans and there is a possibility of concurrent use of penicillin and E. elaterium extract in combination in the treatment of infections caused by MRSA and MSSA strains. A wider study is needed to identify the effective components, the mode of action and the possible toxic effect in vivo of these ingredients.