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Andrographolide: antibacterial activity against common bacteria of human health concern and possible mechanism of action


Increasing bacterial resistance to common drugs is a major public health concern for the treatment of infectious diseases. Certain naturally occurring compounds of plant sources have long been reported to possess potential antimicrobial activity. This study was aimed to investigate the antibacterial activity and possible mechanism of action of andrographolide (Andro), a diterpenoid lactone from a traditional medicinal herb Andrographis paniculata. Extent of antibacterial action was assessed by minimal bactericidal concentration method. Radiolabeled N-acetyl glucosamine, leucine, thymidine, and uridine were used to determine the effect of Andro on the biosyntheses of cell wall, protein, DNA, and RNA, respectively. In addition, anti-biofilm potential of this compound was also tested. Andro showed potential antibacterial activity against most of the tested Gram-positive bacteria. Among those, Staphylococcus aureus was found to be most sensitive with a minimal inhibitory concentration value of 100 μg/mL. It was found to be bacteriostatic. Specific inhibition of intracellular DNA biosynthesis was observed in a dose-dependent manner in S. aureus. Andro mediated inhibition of biofilm formation by S. aureus was also found. Considering its antimicrobial potency, Andro might be accounted as a promising lead for new antibacterial drug development.

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Minimum inhibitory concentration


Minimal bactericidal concentration


Cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton broth


4′, 6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole


Confocal laser scanning microscopy


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Authors acknowledge the supports received from University of Kalyani, Kalyani, India, and TCG Life Science Ltd., Kolkata, India. We also acknowledge Mr. Kunal Bhattacharyya for his technical assistance during the study.

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Correspondence to Samir Kumar Mukherjee.

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Banerjee, M., Parai, D., Chattopadhyay, S. et al. Andrographolide: antibacterial activity against common bacteria of human health concern and possible mechanism of action. Folia Microbiol 62, 237–244 (2017).

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