Aloe barbadensis Miller (Aloe vera) is a herbal remedy widely used for a variety of illnesses; A. vera leaf extracts have been promoted for detoxification, cure constipation, help flush out toxins and wastes from the body, promote digestion and are used in the treatment of peptic ulcer for cytoprotective action. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibacterial activity of A. vera inner gel against both susceptible and resistant Helicobacter pylori strains isolated in Abruzzo region, Italy. The inner gel of leaves of a 5-year-old plant of A. vera was extracted, homogenized and tested from 800 to 1.56 mg ml(-1) against 14 clinical strains and one reference strain of H. pylori using the broth microdilution methodology. Furthermore, the sample of A. vera was investigated for the chemical fingerprint of anthraquinones. The inhibitory concentrations of A. vera inner gel were similar to the bactericidal ones, with values ranging from 6.25 to 800 mg ml(-1) . Fifty per cent of the detected strains, independently of their susceptibility profile, were inhibited in their growth at 100 mg ml(-1) . Aloe vera inner gel expresses antibacterial properties against H. pylori and, therefore, in combination with antibiotics, could represent a novel strategy for the treatment of the infection of H. pylori, especially in cases of multiresistance.
Significance and impact of the study: The study demonstrates that the Aloe vera inner gel expresses antibacterial properties against both susceptible and resistant Helicobacter pylori strains. These findings may impact on the antimicrobial resistance phenomenon of H. pylori, proposing the A. vera inner gel as a novel effective natural agent for combination with antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori gastric infection.
Keywords: Aloe vera; Helicobacter pylori; antibacterial activity; resistant strains; therapeutic regimens.
© 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.