Antibacterial and immunomodulator activities of virgin coconut oil (VCO) against Staphylococcus aureus

Heliyon. 2019 Oct 20;5(10):e02612. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e02612. eCollection 2019 Oct.


Antibiotics have components to inhibit infections against Staphylococcus aureus, but they depend on judicious use to minimize the incidence of resistance forms. Strategies to improve the current situation include research in finding a new antimicrobial from virgin coconut oil (VCO). The saturated fatty acid, lauric acid (LA) (C12) contain in VCO was reported to have antibacterial activities. This study developed antimicrobial of VCO as an antimicrobial and immunomodulatory agent. Staphylococcus aureus used in this study had been isolated and identified from the mastitis milk crossbreed Etawa goat from Riau, Indonesia. The susceptibility of S. aureus to VCO was tested using the broth dilution method. The inhibition mechanisms of S. aureus had been studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) after treatment with VCO, and potential of VCO, which is known in phagocytosis macrophage. In vitro test confirmed the inhibitory effect of VCO on the growth of S. aureus at the concentration of 200 μl (equal to 0.102 % LA). Based on the result of the phagocytosing assay, VCO could increase the ability of the macrophage cells to phagocyte S. aureus significantly at a concentration of 200 μL (equal to 0.102% LA). This study concluded that the VCO could inhibit the growth of S. aureus with destructive mechanisms of bacterial cell walls and increase the ability of the phagocytic immune cells.

Keywords: Antimicrobial; Immunomodulator; Microbiology; Staphylococcus aureus; Virgin coconut oil.