Antibacterial activity of Curcuma longa L. against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Phytother Res. 2005 Jul;19(7):599-604. doi: 10.1002/ptr.1660.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been emerging worldwide as one of the most important hospital and community pathogens. Therefore, new agents are needed to treat MRSA associated infections. The present study investigated the antimicrobial activity of ethyl acetate, methanol and water extracts of Curcuma longa L. (C. longa) against MRSA. The ethyl acetate extract of C. longa demonstrated a higher antibacterial activity than the methanol extract or water extract. Since the ethyl acetate extract was more active than the other extracts, the study examined whether the ethyl acetate extract could restore the antibacterial activity of beta-lactams and alter the MRSA invasion of human mucosal fibroblasts (HMFs). In the checkerboard test, the ethyl acetate extract of C. longa markedly lowered the MICs of ampicillin and oxacillin against MRSA. In the bacterial invasion assay, MRSA intracellular invasion was significantly decreased in the presence of 0.125-2 mg/mL of C. longa extract compared with the control group. These results suggest that the ethyl acetate extract of C. longa may have antibacterial activity and the potential to restore the effectiveness of beta-lactams against MRSA, and inhibit the MRSA invasion of HMFs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Curcuma*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Penicillin-Binding Proteins
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Penicillin-Binding Proteins
  • Plant Extracts
  • mecA protein, Staphylococcus aureus