Background: Medications from Anthroposophical Medicine (AM) are clinically used for the treatment of infections within a whole medical system but have not yet been evaluated regarding antibacterial effects. The aims of this study was to investigate antibacterial activity of AM medications in cell culture.
Methods: Screening of AM drug registers for preparations used to treat any kind of infection and being available in dilutions ≤ D2 and without alcoholic content. Selected medications were screened for antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa using the agar diffusion method. For antimicrobial active preparations growth kinetics (drop plate method) and minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC, macrodilution method) were determined.
Results: Thirty-three preparations matched the selection criteria and were chosen for own experiments. One of them (Berberis Decoctum D2) exhibited bactericidal activities against Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin resistant strains. The MIC could be determined as 5 mg/ml. The effects could be related to the content of berberine in the extract. No activity towards gram-negative bacteria was found. The other tested extracts had no antibacterial effects.
Conclusion: Berberis Decoctum D2 which is used in AM to treat infections exhibits bactericidal effects on Staphylococcus aureus, including methicillin resistant strains.
Keywords: Berberine; Berberis radix; MRSA; Parenteral use; Staphylococcus.