Potentiation of antimicrobial activity of ciprofloxacin by Pelargonium graveolens essential oil against selected uropathogens

Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1225-8. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3479. Epub 2011 May 25.


The recent approach of using herbs and antibiotics in combination constitutes a strategy to overcome the problems of resistance and side effects associated with conventional antibiotics. In the present study, the antimicrobial effect of Pelargonium graveolens L' Hér essential oil in combination with ciprofloxacin was evaluated on uropathogens, namely, Klebsiella pneumoniae KT2, Proteus mirabilis PRT3 and Staphylococcus aureus ST2. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of P. graveolens essential oil and ciprofloxacin were determined by the microbroth dilution method and further, the interaction between these two agents was studied by a checkerboard method. The fractional inhibitory concentration index (FICI) was calculated to be 0.375 for both K. pneumoniae KT2 and P. mirabilis PRT3, while for S. aureus ST2 it was found to be 0.5. The values of FICI for the tested microorganisms were found to be ≤0.5, which indicates synergism between P. graveolens essential oil and ciprofloxacin. The concave shaped curve in the isobolograms also depicted a synergistic effect of P. graveolens essential oil and ciprofloxacin against the tested microorganisms. Hence, the synergistic action of P. graveolens essential oil and ciprofloxacin may be applied for the treatment of UTIs, which have hitherto been treated by using only synthetic drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • India
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pelargonium / chemistry*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Proteus mirabilis / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Oils
  • Ciprofloxacin