Systematic review and technological overview of the antimicrobial activity of Tagetes minuta and future perspectives

J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Aug 17:208:8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.06.046. Epub 2017 Jun 29.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: The antimicrobial potential of Tagetes minuta was correlated with its traditional use as antibacterial, insecticidal, biocide, disinfectant, anthelminthic, antifungal, and antiseptic agent as well as its use in urinary tract infections.

Aim of the study: This study aimed to systematically review articles and patents regarding the antimicrobial activity of T. minuta and give rise to perspectives on this plant as a potential antimicrobial agent.

Materials and methods: A literature search of studies published between 1997 and 2015 was conducted over five databases: MedLine (PubMed), Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Portal de Periódicos Capes and SciFinder, grey literature was explored using the System for Information on Dissertations database, and theses were searched using the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Full text database and the Periódicos Capes Theses database. Additionally, the following databases for patents were analysed: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Google Patents, National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) and Espacenet patent search (EPO). The data were tabulated and analysed using Microsoft Office Excel 2010.

Results: After title screening, 51 studies remained and this number decreased to 26 after careful examinations of the abstracts. The full texts of these 26 studies were assessed to check if they were eligible. Among them, 3 were excluded for not having full text access, and 11 were excluded because they did not fit the inclusion criteria, which left 10 articles for this systematic review. The same process was conducted for the patent search, resulting in 4 patents being included in this study.

Conclusion: Recent advances highlighted by this review may shed light on future directions of studies concerning T. minuta as a novel antimicrobial agent, which should be repeatedly proven in future animal and clinical studies. Although more evidence on its specificity and clinical efficacy are necessary to support its clinical use, T. minuta is expected to be a highly effective, safe and affordable treatment for infectious diseases.

Keywords: Antifungal; Antimicrobial; Botany; Essential oil; Plant conservation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Insecticides / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Tagetes*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Insecticides
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Preparations