Anti-microbial Activity of Tulsi {Ocimum Sanctum (Linn.)} Extract on a Periodontal Pathogen in Human Dental Plaque: An Invitro Study

J Clin Diagn Res. 2016 Mar;10(3):ZC53-6. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2016/16214.7468. Epub 2016 Mar 1.


Introduction: Tulsi is a popular healing herb in Ayurvedic medicine. It is widely used in the treatment of several systemic diseases because of its anti-microbial property. However, studies documenting the effect of Tulsi on oral disease causing organisms are rare. Hence, an attempt was made to determine the effect of Tulsi on a periodontal microorganism in human dental plaque.

Aim: To determine if Ocimum sanctum (Linn.) has an anti-microbial activity (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration and zone of inhibition) against Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans in human dental plaque and to compare the antimicrobial activity of Ocimum sanctum(Linn.) extract with 0.2% chlorhexidine as the positive control and dimethyl sulfoxide as the negative control.

Materials and methods: A lab based invitro experimental study design was adopted. Ethanolic extract of Ocimum sanctum (Linn.) was prepared by the cold extraction method. The extract was diluted with an inert solvent, dimethyl sulfoxide, to obtain ten different concentrations (1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%) of extract. Plaque sample was collected from 05 subjects diagnosed with periodontal disease. Isolation of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans from plaque samples was done using Tryptic Soy Serum Bacitracin Vancomycin agar (TSBV) medium. Identification of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans was done based on cultural, microscopic, biochemical characterization and multiple drug resistance patterns. Anti-microbial activity of Ocimum sanctum (Linn.) extract was tested by agar well-diffusion method against 0.2% chlorhexidine as a positive control and dimethyl sulfoxide as a negative control. The zone of inhibition was measured in millimeters using Vernier callipers.

Results: At the 6% w/v concentration of Ocimum sanctum (Linn.) extract, a zone of inhibition of 22 mm was obtained. This was the widest zone of inhibition observed among all the 10 different concentrations tested. The zone of inhibition for positive control was 25mm and no zone of inhibition was observed around the negative control.

Conclusion: Ocimum sanctum (Linn.) extract demonstrated an antimicrobial activity against Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. The maximum antimicrobial potential was observed at the 6% concentration level.

Keywords: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans; Anti-microbial; Chlorhexidine; Dental plaque; Tulsi extract.