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Antimicrobial effects of Thai medicinal plants against acne-inducing bacteria

Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis have been recognized as pus-forming bacteria triggering an inflammation in acne. The present study was conducted to evaluate antimicrobial activities of Thai medicinal plants against these etiologic agents of acne vulgaris. Crude extracts were tested for antimicrobial activities by disc diffusion and broth dilution methods. The results from the disc diffusion method showed that 13 medicinal plants could inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes. Among those, Senna alata, Eupatorium odoratum, Garcinia mangostana, and Barleria lupulina had strong inhibitory effects. Based on a broth dilution method, the Garcinia mangostana extract had the greatest antimicrobial effect. The MIC values were the same (0.039 mg/ml) for both bacterial species and the MBC values were 0.039 and 0.156 mg/ml against Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis, respectively. In bioautography assay, the Garcinia mangostana extract produced strong inhibition zones against Propionibacterium acnes. Antimicrobial activity from fractions of column chromatography revealed one of the active compounds in Garcinia mangostana could be mangostin, a xanthone derivative. Taken together, our data indicated that Garcinia mangostana had a strong inhibitory effect on Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Therefore, this plant would be an interesting topic for further study and possibly for an alternative treatment for acne.

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