In vitro activity of heather [Calluna vulgaris (L.) Hull] extracts on selected urinary tract pathogens

Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2014 Nov 15;14(4):234-8. doi: 10.17305/bjbms.2014.4.40.


Calluna vulgaris L. Hull (Ericaceae) has been used for treatment of urinary tract infections in traditional medicine. In this study we analyzed in vitro antibacterial activity of the plant extracts on different strains of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and Proteus vulgaris, as well as the concentrations of total phenols and flavonoids in the extracts. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were determined. The concentrations of total phenols were examined by using Folin-Ciocalteu reagent and ranged between 67.55 to 142.46 mg GAE/g. The concentrations of flavonoids in extracts were determined using spectrophotometric method with aluminum chloride and the values ranged from 42.11 to 63.68 mg RUE/g. The aqueous extract of C. vulgaris showed a significant antibacterial activity. The values of MIC were in the range from 2.5 mg/ml to 20 mg/ml for this extract. Proteus vulgaris strains were found to be the most sensitive. The results obtained suggest that all tested extracts of C. vulgaris inhibit the growth of human pathogens, especially the aqueous extract.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Calluna* / chemistry
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Proteus vulgaris / drug effects
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / microbiology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts