Background: In the past few decades focus of research has been toward herbal medicines because of growing bacterial resistance and side effects of antimicrobial agents. The extract derived from the plants may increase the efficacy of antibiotics when used in combination against pathogenic bacteria. In the current study, the synergistic antibacterial efficacy of plant extracts in combination with antibiotics has been assessed on selected periodontal pathogens.
Methods: Ethanolic extracts were prepared from Salvadora persica (Miswak) and Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon), by the soxhalate method. Plaque samples were collected from clinical periodontitis patients to isolate and grow the periodontal pathobionts under favorable conditions. Susceptibility of bacteria to the extracts was assessed by gauging the diameter of the inhibition zones. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of plant extracts were determined against each bacterium. Synergistic activity of plants extract in combination with antibiotics against the bacteria was also assessed by measuring the diameter of the inhibition zones.
Results: Ethanolic extract of both the plants showed an inhibitory effect on the proliferation and growth of all four strains of periodontal pathobionts. Maximum antibacterial activity was exhibited by C. zeylanicum against Tannerella forsythia (MIC = 1.56 ± 0.24 mg/mL, MBC = 6.25 ± 0.68 mg/mL), whereas among all the studied groups the minimum activity was reported by C. zeylanicum against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans the (MIC = 12.5 ± 3.25 mg/mL, MBC = 75 ± 8.23 mg/mL). Combination of herbal extracts with different antibiotics revealed a synergistic antibacterial effect. The best synergism was exhibited by S. persica with metronidazole against A. actinomycetemcomitans (27 ± 1.78).
Conclusions: Current in vitro study showed variable antibacterial activity by experimented herbal extracts against periodontal pathobionts. The synergistic test showed significant antibacterial activity when plant extracts were combined with antibiotics.
Keywords: antibacterial activity; antibiotic; periodontal pathobionts; plants extract; synergism.