Mutagenicity evaluation with Ames test of hydro-alcoholic solution of terpenes

J Prev Med Hyg. 2009 Sep;50(3):170-4.


Mutagenic properties of terpenes (both synthesis and plant derived) have been tested, up to now, as a single molecule. A terpenes containing hydro-alcoholic solution deriving from frankincense and myrrh resins and hyssop essential oil was assayed for mutagenicity by means of ames test. Extraction technique conducted with electromagnetic fields at room temperature enabled to obtain a solution of free active molecules that did not undergo thermal degradation and characterized by biocidal activity. In order to verify lack of mutagenic hazard in coming into contact with human, the solution was appropriately diluted and tested with Salmonella typhimurium TA98, TA1535 and YG1024 strains, both in absence and in presence of metabolic system S9. For none of the tested conditions a 2-fold increase of induced revertants, as regards to spontaneous, was registered. The ratio between induced and spontaneous His+ revertants (Mutagenic Index) was around 1.00 in all the determinations and no statistically significant differences have been identified comparing the sample and the negative control. A similar result has been obtained for the dose-response curve. In conclusion, we verified that tested terpenes solution lacks of mutagenicity on Salmonella typhimurium with and without metabolic activator so this plant extract can be safely used as biocide.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Boswellia
  • Carcinogens / chemistry
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Lamiaceae
  • Mutagenicity Tests / instrumentation
  • Mutagenicity Tests / methods
  • Mutagens / chemistry*
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Pharmaceutical Solutions
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Regression Analysis
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Terpenes / chemistry*
  • Terpenes / toxicity


  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Pharmaceutical Solutions
  • Plant Extracts
  • Terpenes
  • myrrh oil