Identification of natural compounds which inhibit biofilm formation in clinical isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae

Indian J Exp Biol. 2013 Sep;51(9):764-72.


Klebsiella pneumoniae, an important opportunistic pathogen, exists as a biofilm in persistent infections and in-dwelling medical devices. With the objective of identifying natural compounds inhibiting biofilm formation in K. pneumoniae, 35 clinical isolates were screened,out of which 7 strong biofilm producers were identified. Six natural compounds were tested for their inhibitory effects on bacterial growth and biofilm formation by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum concentration for biofilm inhibition (MBIC) for each compound. The results show that reserpine followed by linoleic acid, were the most potent biofilm inhibitors. Reserpine, an efflux pump inhibitor was effective at biofilm inhibition at a concentration of 0.0156 mg/mL, 64-fold lower concentration than its MIC. Linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid was effective as a biofilm inhibitor at 0.0312 mg/mL, which is 32-fold lower than its MIC. Berberine, another plant derived antimicrobial, chitosan and eugenol had an MBIC value of 0.0635 mg/mL. Curcumin, a natural phenolic compound was effective at biofilm inhibition at a concentration of 0.25 mg/mL, which is 50 fold less than its MIC. Notably, the MIC and MBIC data on these 6 natural compounds was reproducible in all seven high biofilm forming isolates of K. pneumoniae. The present report is a comprehensive comparative analysis of the dose dependent inhibition of various natural compounds on biofilm formation in K. pneumoniae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / growth & development
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / physiology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests


  • Biological Products