Thymoquinone showed a significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria. - GreenMedInfo Summary
An active principle of Nigella sativa L., thymoquinone, showing significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria.
J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Jan-Mar;6(1):97-101. Epub 2016 Nov 21. PMID: 28163966
Mohammad Akram Randhawa
AIM/BACKGROUND: Thymoquinone (TQ) is the major active principle of Nigella sativa seed (black seed) and is known to control many fungi, bacteria, and some viruses. However, the activity of TQ against anaerobic bacteria is not well demonstrated. Anaerobic bacteria can cause severe infections, including diarrhea, aspiration pneumonia, and brain abscess, particularly in immunodeficient individuals. The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of TQ against some anaerobic pathogens in comparison to metronidazole.
METHODS: Standard, ATCC, strains of four anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Bacteroides fragilis, and Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron), were initially isolated on special Brucella agar base (with hemin and vitamin K). Then, minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of TQ and metronidazole were determined against these anaerobes when grown in Brucella agar, using serial agar dilution method according to the recommended guidelines for anaerobic organisms instructed by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute.
RESULTS: TQ showed a significant antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacteria although much weaker than metronidazole. MICs of TQ and metronidazole against various anaerobic human pathogens tested were found to be between 10-160 mg/L and 0.19-6.25 mg/L, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: TQ controlled the anaerobic human pathogenic bacteria, which supports the use of N. sativa in the treatment of diarrhea in folk medicine. Further investigations are in need for determination of the synergistic effect of TQ in combination with metronidazole and the activity of derivatives of TQ against anaerobic infections.