Screening research of 90% aqueous ethanolic plant extracts antimicrobial activity against Propionobacterium acnes — an etiological factor of acne occurrence

Keywords: medicinal plants extracts, P. acnes, acne vulgaris, antimicrobial activity, antibiotic resistance.


Annotation. Prolonged antibacterial therapy of acne, mainly by antibiotics of MLS-group (macrolides, lincosamides and streptogramin B), has a number of side effects, the main of which is the emergence of resistant strains. Considering the risks and side effects of traditional etiotropic acne therapy, the use of herbal medicines may be an alternative of this disease treatment. The purpose of this study was to perform a screening study of 90% aqueous-ethanolic medicinal plant extracts antimicrobial activity against P acnes test strains. Antimicrobial activity of 242 aqueous-ethanolic extracts of 183 medicinal and aromatic plants of various organs against two P. acnes strains: sensitive and MLS resistant by HB (Heart Brain) agar diffusion method was studied. Statistical processing of results has been caried by UTHSCSA ImageTool 2.0, Microsoft Office Excel 2011. Eupatorium cannabinum L. and Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dun. aerial parts, Populus nigra L. fruits and needles, Helichrysum arenarium L., Evernia prunastri (L.) Ach. herbs, Calendula officinalis L. flowers, Geranium pratense L. rhizomes and Larix decidua Mill. needles exhibited strong antimicrobial activity (diameter of growth inhibition≥ 15 mm) against test strains. Representatives with antimicrobial properties against acne agents have been found among medicinal plants of Ukraine's flora. The detection of pronounced antimicrobial properties in various pharmacopoeial and non-pharmacopoeial plants necessitates the need for phytochemical study of the raw material to isolate and identify its active components.


1. Yurchyshyn, O. I., Kurovets, L. M., & Rusko, H. V. (2016). Vyvchennia protymikrobnykh i antybiotykopotentsiiuiuchykh vlastyvostei spyrtovykh roslynnykh ekstraktiv vidnosno shkirnykh izoliativ stafilokokiv – zbudnykiv piodermii z riznymy mekhanizmamy MLS-rezystentnosti [Study of antimicrobial and antibiotic-potentiating properties of alcoholic plant extracts in relation to skin isolates of staphylococci – pyodermal pathogens with different mechanisms of MLS-resistance]. Biomedical and Biosocial Anthropology, 26, 52–57. Vziato z bba_2016_26_14.pdf.

2. Chlebus, E., & Chlebus, M. (2019). The Role of Adolescent Acne Treatment in Formation of Scars Among Patients With Persistent Adult Acne: Evidence From an Observational Study. MDedge Dermatology, 104 (01), 57–61. Retrieved from

3. Ghosh, V. K., Nagore, D. H., Kadbhane, K. P., & Patil, M. J. (2011). Different approaches of alternative medicines in acne vulgaris treatment. Orient Pharm Exp Med., 11(1), 1–9. doi:10.1007/s13596-011-0006-6.

4. Hanieh, A., Mehrnaz, F., Khakshur, A. & Abdollahi, M. (2012). A review of phytotherapy of acne vulgaris: perspective of new pharmacologica treatment. Fitoterapia, 83(8), 1306–17. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2012.03.026.

5. Hayashi, N., Kurokawa, I., Siakpere, O., Endo, A., Hatanaka, T., Yamada, M. & Kawashima, M. (2018). Clindamycin phosphate 1.2%/benzoyl peroxide 3% fixed-dose combination gel versus topical combination therapy of adapalene 0.1% gel and clindamycin phosphate 1.2% gel in the treatment of acne vulgaris in Japanese patients: A multicenter, randomized, investigator-blind, parallel-group study. Journal of Dermatology, 45, 951–962. doi:10.1111/1346-8138.14497.

6. Ishnava, K. B., Chauhan, J. B., & Barad, M. B. (2013). Anticariogenic and phytochemical evaluation of Eucalyptys globules Labill. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 20, 69–74. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.11.03.

7. Lim, Y. H., Kim, I. H. & Seo, J. J. (2007). In vitro activity of kaempherol from the Impatiens balsamia alone and in combination with erythromycin or clindamycin against P. acne. The Journal of Microbiology, 45 (5), 473–477. Retrieved from

8. McLaughlin, J., Watterson, S., Layton, A. M., Bjourson, A. J., Barnard, E., & McDowell, A. (2019). Propionibacterium acnes and Acne Vulgaris: New Insights from the Integration of Population Genetic, Multi-Omic, Biochemical and Host-Microbe Studies. Microorganisms, 7 (5), 128. doi:10.3390/microorganisms7050128.

9. Patil, V., Bandivadekar, A., & Debjani, D. (2012). Inhibition of Propionobacterium acnes lipase by extracts of Indian medicinal plants. Int. J. Cosmetic Sci, 1, 1–6. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2012.00706.x.

10. Zhu, T., Zhu, W., Wang, Q., He, L., Wu, W., Liu, J., Li, Y., & Zhu, D. S. T. (2019). Antibiotic susceptibility of Propionibacterium acnes isolated from patients with acne in a public hospital in Southwest China: prospective crosssectional study. BMJ Open, 9. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022938.
How to Cite
Rusko, G. (2020). Screening research of 90% aqueous ethanolic plant extracts antimicrobial activity against Propionobacterium acnes — an etiological factor of acne occurrence. Reports of Vinnytsia National Medical University, 24(1), 75-79.