Evaluation of diffusion and dilution methods to determine the antibacterial activity of plant extracts.J Microbiol Methods. 2010 May; 81(2):121-6.JM
The aim of this study was to evaluate diffusion and dilution methods for determining the antibacterial activity of plant extracts and their mixtures. Several methods for measurement of the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) of a plant extract are available, but there is no standard procedure as there is for antibiotics. We tested different plant extracts, their mixtures and phenolic acids on selected gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Listeria monocytogenes) and gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Infantis, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli) with the disk diffusion, agar dilution, broth microdilution and macrodilution methods. The disk diffusion method was appropriate only as a preliminary screening test prior to quantitative MIC determination with dilution methods. A comparison of the results for MIC obtained by agar dilution and broth microdilution was possible only for gram-positive bacteria, and indicated the latter as the most accurate way of assessing the antimicrobial effect. The microdilution method with TTC (2,3,5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride) or INT (2-p-iodophenyl-3-p-nitrophenyl-5-phenyl tetrazolium chloride) to indicate the viability of aerobic bacteria was found to be the best alternative approach, while only ATP determination was appropriate for microaerophilic Campylobacter spp. Using survival curves the kinetics of bacterial inactivation on plant extract exposure was followed for 24h and in this way the MIC values determined by the microdilution method were confirmed as the concentrations of extracts that inhibited bacterial growth. We suggest evaluation of the antibacterial activity of plant extracts using the broth microdilution method as a fast screening method for MIC determination and the macrodilution method at selected MIC values to confirm bacterial inactivation. Campylobacter spp. showed a similar sensitivity to plant extracts as the tested gram-positive bacteria, but S. Infantis and E. coli O157:H7 were more resistant.