Syzygium aromaticum L.: Traditional herbal medicine against cag A and vac A toxin genes-producing drug resistant Helicobacter pylori

J Tradit Complement Med. 2019 May 15;10(4):366-377. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2019.05.002. eCollection 2020 Jul.


The Pan-Drug Resistant (PDR), Helicobacter pylori remains an intractable challenge in public health worldwide and this pathogenicity is mainly due to the presence of a cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) and vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA). On the other hand, plant extracts such as Syzygium aromaticum contain a diverse array of secondary metabolites, which could be potentially used to combat H. pylori pathogens. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the biomedical potential of S. aromaticum extract against cytotoxin-associated genes producing PDR H. pylori. In this investigation, out of 45 gastric antral biopsy specimens of dyspeptic patients, 20 strains were confirmed as H. pylori. Eight (40%) out of 20 strains were PDR H. pylori while the rest of the strains were Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) strains. Genotypic analyses of PDR H. pylori strains showed that cagA and vacA genes were found to be 75% and 87.5%, respectively and m2s2 was the most common subtype of vacA gene. S. aromaticum showed a significant higher anti-H. pylori activity compared to that of Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Thymus vulgaris. Eugenol was the major phenolic compound (28.14%) detected in the methanolic extract of S. aromaticum. Clearly, results of the toxicological assessment confirmed the safety of S. aromaticum for use. Hence, these results suggest that S. aromaticum could be a new useful natural antimicrobial agent that could potentially combat cytotoxin genes-producing drug-resistant H. pylori. Moreover, these findings provide a scientific basis for the development of antimicrobial agents from traditional herbal medicines for gastroprotection against gastric ulcer.

Keywords: Antibacterial; Cytotoxin-associated genes; Drug resistance; Helicobacter pylori; Histopathology; Syzygium aromaticum.