Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli
(1) Lowell High School, Lowell, Massachusetts, (2) Middlesex Community College, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Bacteria are quickly becoming resistant to antibiotics, and as such, alternative medicines are being explored as treatments for infectious diseases. Plant extracts such as Panax ginseng (ginseng) have shown promise in increasing the effectiveness of current therapeutic agents; however, the high cost of ginseng makes it less attainable than other plant species. A comparable plant, Talinum paniculatum, has been shown to suppress the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Serratia marcescens on its own, yet studies are lacking in testing its effectiveness alongside antibiotic treatment. This study aimed to test the effects of T. paniculatum in combination with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus and E. coli. The results of the disk diffusion tests indicated that T. paniculatum helped increase the efficacy of the antibiotics against S. aureus, but had no noticeable effect on E. coli when tested with the same antibiotics. This is important because T. paniculatum is more cost accessible than ginseng, therefore, it can be more easily acquired and used in combination with antibiotic therapies for treating S. aureus infections. Future studies will involve isolating and testing for specific bioactive components of T. paniculatum.