Evaluation of antibiotic potential of alkaloids of Tribulus terrestris L. against some pathogenic microorganisms

Alka Jindal, Padma Kumar, Keerti Gautam


Context: Antibiotic resistance has become a global concern. There has been an increasing incidence of multiple resistances in human pathogenic microorganisms in recent years, largely due to indiscriminate use of commercial antimicrobial drugs commonly employed in the treatment of infectious diseases. Tribulus terrestris (Family: Zygophyllaceae) is a well‑known medicinal plant and has been used world‑wide for the treatment of infectious diseases. Alkaloids are group of naturally occurring chemical compounds, which are known to have antimicrobial properties. Aim: The present study is designed to evaluate the antimicrobial potential of alkaloids of T. terrestris L. Materials and Methods: Alkaloids extracted from different parts (root, stem, leaf and fruits) of T. terrestris were screened by Disc diffusion assay against three bacterial strains: gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus), gram negative (Escherichia
coli and Proteus mirabilis) and two fungal strains: Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus niger. Minimum inhibitory concentration of
the extracts was evaluated by micro broth dilution method while minimum bactericidal/fungicidal concentration was determined
by sub culturing the relevant samples. Total activity of the extracts against each sensitive test pathogens was also calculated. Statistical Analysis: Mean value and standard error mean were calculated for the results of disc diffusion assay and data were analysed by one‑way analysis of variance and P values were considered significant at P < 0.05. Results: The alkaloid extracts of T. terrestris showed significant antibacterial potential as all test extracts were found active against both the gram positive and negative bacteria, but were inactive against the tested fungi. Conclusion: The present study indicates the broad spectrum antibacterial potential of the alkaloids of T. terrestris, hence may be exploited for future antibacterial drugs.
Key words: Alkaloids, antimicrobial properties, total activity, Tribulus terrestris

Full Text:



Sharma A, Shanker C, Tyagi LK, Singh M, Rao CV. Herbal

medicine for market potential in India: an overview. Acad J Plant

Sci 2008;1:26‑36.

Britto SJ, Senthilkumar S. Antibacterial activity of Solanum

incanum L. leaf extracts. Asian J Microbiol Biotechnol Environ Sci


Davies J. Inactivation of antibiotics and the dissemination of

resistance genes. Science 1994;264:375‑82.

Stary F, Hans S. The National Guides to Medical Herbs and Plants.

UK: Tiger Books. Int. Plc.; 1998.

Del Campo J, Amiot MJ, Nguyen‑The C. Antimicrobial effect of

rosemary extracts. J Food Prot 2000;63:1359‑68.

Awadh‑Ali NA, Juelich WD, Kusnick C, Lindequist U. Screening of

Yemeni medicinal plants for antibacterial and cytotoxic activities.

J Ethanopharmacol 2001;74:173‑9.

Al‑Ali M, Wahbi S, Twaij H, Al‑Badr A. Tribulus terrestris:

Preliminary study of its diuretic and contractile effects and

comparison with Zea mays. J Ethnopharmacol 2003;85:257‑60.

Sharifi AM, Darabi R, Akbarloo N. Study of antihypertensive

mechanism of Tribulus terrestris in 2K1C hypertensive rats: Role

of tissue ACE activity. Life Sci 2003;73:2963‑71.

Phillips OA, Mathew KT, Oriowo MA. Antihypertensive and

vasodilator effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of Tribulus

terrestris in rats. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;104:351‑5.

Sautour M, Mitaine‑Offer AC, Miyamoto T, Dongmo A,

Lacaille‑Dubois MA. Antifungal steroid saponins from Dioscorea

cayenensis. Planta Med 2004;70:90‑2.

Al‑Bayati FA, Al‑Mola HF. Antibacterial and antifungal activities

of different parts of Tribulus terrestris L. growing in Iraq. J Zhejiang

Univ Sci B 2008;9:154‑9.

Khude VS. Studies on antimicrobial activity of Tribulus Terrestris L.

and Pedalium Murex L. Bioinfolet 2011;8:255‑7.

Deepak M, Dipankar G, Prashanth D, Asha MK, Amit A,

Venkataraman BV. Tribulosin and beta‑sitosterol‑D‑glucoside,

the anthelmintic principles of Tribulus terrestris. Phytomedicine


Lacaille‑Dubois MA, Wagner H. A review of the biological

and pharmacological activities of saponins. Phytomedicine


Milgate J, Roberts D. The nutritional and biological significance

of saponins. Nutr Res 1985;15:1223‑49.

Harborne JC. Phytochemical Methods: A Guide to Modern

Techniques of Plant Analysis. 2nd ed. London, New York: Chapman

and Hall Ltd.; 1984.

Andrews JM, BSAC Working Party On Susceptibility Testing

ft. BSAC standardized disc susceptibility testing method.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2001;48:43‑57.

Basri DF, Fan SH. The potential of aqueous and acetone extracts

of galls of Quercus infectoria as antibacterial agents. Indian J

Pharmacol 2005;37:26‑9.

Eloff JN. Quantification the bioactivity of plant extracts during

screening and bioassay guided fractionation. Phytomedicine


Bourke CA, Stevens GR, Carrigan MJ. Locomotor effects in sheep

of alkaloids identified in Australian Tribulus terrestris. Aust Vet J


Zafar R, Nasa AK. Quercetin and kaempferol from the fruits and

stems of Tribulus terrestris. Indian J Nat Prod 1987;3:17‑8.

Ekabo OA, Farnsworth NR, Henderson TO, Mao G, Mukherjee R.

Antifungal and molluscicidal saponins from Serjania salzmanniana.

J Nat Prod 1996;59:431‑5.

Ahmad I, Mehmood Z, Mohammad F. Screening of some

Indian medicinal plants for their antimicrobial properties.

J Ethnopharmacol 1998;62:183‑93.

Mehmood Z, Ahmad I, Mohammad F, Ahmad S. Indian medicinal

plants: A potential source for anticandidal drugs. Pharm Biol


Abbasoglu U, Tosun F. Antimicrobial activity of Tribulus terrestris

L. growing in Turkey. Hacettepe Universitesi Eczacilik Fakultesi

Dergisi 1994;14:81‑5.

Kianbakht S, Jahaniani F. Evaluation of antibacterial activity of

Tribulus terrestris L. growing in Iran. Iran J Pharmacol Therapeut


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v7i2.304


  • There are currently no refbacks.