Effects of Helichrysum italicum extract on growth and enzymatic activity of Staphylococcus aureus

Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2001 Jun;17(6):517-20. doi: 10.1016/s0924-8579(01)00336-3.


Helichrysum italicum G. Don (Compositae) is a shrub commonly found in dry, sandy and stony areas of Mediterranean regions. This plant is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and antimicrobial activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the diethyl ether extract on growth of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 6538P, MRSA and MSSA isolates) and the influence of subminimum inhibitory concentrations (subMICs) on some enzymes which are considered virulence factors. The results indicate that the H. italicum extract had an inhibitory effect on S. aureus strains reducing both their growth and some of the enzymes such as coagulase, DNAse, thermonuclease and lipase. Helichrysum italicum extract could be a novel antimicrobial agent, less toxic to human skin and tissues, worthy of further studies.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Asteraceae*
  • Coagulase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Deoxyribonucleases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / isolation & purification
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lipase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Micrococcal Nuclease / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / enzymology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Coagulase
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Deoxyribonucleases
  • Lipase
  • Micrococcal Nuclease