Seeds of the cumin plant (Cuminum cyminum L.) have been used since many years in Iranian traditional medicine. We assessed the effect of cumin seed essential oil on the biofilm-forming ability of Klebsiella pneumoniae strains and on the integrity of a native resistance plasmid DNA from K. pneumoniae isolates, treated with essential oil. Antibacterial coaction between the essential oil and selected antibiotic disks were determined for inhibiting K. pneumoniae. The essential oil of the cumin seeds was obtained by hydrodistillation in a Clavenger system. A simple method for the formation of biofilms on semiglass lamellas was established. The biofilms formed were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The effect of essential oil on plasmid integrity was studied through the induction of R-plasmid DNA degradation. The plasmid was incubated with essential oil, and agarose gel electrophoresis was performed. Disk diffusion assay was employed to determine the coaction. The essential oil decreased biofilm formation and enhanced the activity of the ciprofloxacin disk. The incubation of the R-plasmid DNA with essential oil could not induce plasmid DNA degradation. The results of this study suggest the potential use of cumin seed essential oil against K. pneumoniae in vitro, may contribute to the in vivo efficacy of this essential oil.
Keywords: Biofilm; Cuminum cyminum; Klebsiella pneumoniae; essential oil; plasmid.