Celery ( Apium graveolens) as a potential antibacterial agent and its effect on cytokeratin-17 and other healing promoters in skin wounds infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Vet World. 2020 May;13(5):865-871. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2020.865-871. Epub 2020 May 9.


Background and aim: Antimicrobial resistance is a global problem caused by extensive utilization of antibiotics that promote gene resistant among bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus. This study aimed to analyze the potential effects of celery (Apium graveolens) extract as an antioxidant and antimicrobial agent against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), in vitro and in vivo.

Materials and methods: Celery was extracted and tested against a MRSA isolate in vitro. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against MRSA for the celery extract (CE) was determined to be 0.1% and it was formulated into a cream. A total of 30 female Sprague Dawley rats were divided into five groups: Group 1, negative control; Group 2, positive control; Group 3, treated with 0.05% CE cream; Group 4, 0.1% CE cream; and Group 5, 0.2% CE cream. All animals in the groups were exposed to a full-thickness skin biopsy on the dorsal portion, and they were infected with 30 µL of 105 colony-forming units of the MRSA isolate. The treatment was administered twice a day for 7 days. The skin samples were collected on days 3 and 7 after the treatment. The skin tissue was examined histologically using hematoxylin and eosin, Gram staining, and immunohistochemistry against cytokeratin (CK)-17.

Results: Results showed that 0.2% of CE cream was the best treatment for wounds infected with MRSA. CE (0.2%) cream increased skin reepithelialization, fibroblast proliferation, and CK-17 expression; it also decreased the percentage of wound area, inflammatory cell infiltration, and bacterial colonization in skin wound tissue compared to the other treatments (p≤0.05).

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that celery could be utilized as an alternative herbal therapy against MRSA-associated skin infections.

Keywords: antimicrobial; celery; cytokeratin-17; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; wound healing.