Antibacterial and antibiotic potentiating activities of tropical marine sponge extracts

Rima Beesoo, Ranjeet Bhagooli, Vidushi S Neergheen-Bhujun, Wen-Wu Li, Alexander Kagansky, Theeshan Bahorun

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Increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance has led research to focus on discovering new antimicrobial agents derived from the marine biome. Although ample studies have investigated sponges for their bioactive metabolites with promising prospects in drug discovery, the potentiating effects of sponge extracts on antibiotics still remains to be expounded. The present study aimed to investigate the antibacterial capacity of seven tropical sponges collected from Mauritian waters and their modulatory effect in association with three conventional antibiotics namely chloramphenicol, ampicillin and tetracycline. Disc diffusion assay was used to determine the inhibition zone diameter (IZD) of the sponge total crude extracts (CE), hexane (HF), ethyl acetate (EAF) and aqueous (AF) fractions against nine standard bacterial isolates whereas broth microdilution method was used to determine their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) and antibiotic potentiating activity of the most active sponge extract. MIC values of the sponge extracts ranged from 0.039 to 1.25mg/mL. Extracts from Neopetrosia exigua rich in beta-sitosterol and cholesterol displayed the widest activity spectrum against the 9 tested bacterial isolates whilst the best antibacterial profile was observed by its EAF particularly against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus with MIC and MBC values of 0.039mg/mL and 0.078mg/mL, respectively. The greatest antibiotic potentiating effect was obtained with the EAF of N. exigua (MIC/2) and ampicillin combination against S. aureus. These findings suggest that the antibacterial properties of the tested marine sponge extracts may provide an alternative and complementary strategy to manage bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-90
Number of pages10
JournalComparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP
Early online date7 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Journal Article

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