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Planta Med. 2008 Nov;74(14):1709-15. doi: 10.1055/s-0028-1088315. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Antibacterial and antiparasitic activity of oleanolic acid and its glycosides isolated from marigold (Calendula officinalis).

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland. szakal@biol.uw.edu.pl


The antibacterial and antiparasitic activities of free oleanolic acid and its glucosides and glucuronides isolated from marigold (Calendula officinalis) were investigated. The MIC of oleanolic acid and the effect on bacterial growth were estimated by A600 measurements. Oleanolic acid's influence on bacterial survival and the ability to induce autolysis were measured by counting the number of cfu. Cell morphology and the presence of endospores were observed under electron and light microscopy, respectively. Oleanolic acid inhibited bacterial growth and survival, influenced cell morphology and enhanced the autolysis of Gram-positive bacteria suggesting that bacterial envelopes are the target of its activity. On the other hand, glycosides of oleanolic acid inhibited the development of L3 Heligmosomoides polygyrus larvae, the infective stage of this intestinal parasitic nematode. In addition, both oleanolic acid and its glycosides reduced the rate of L3 survival during prolonged storage, but only oleanolic acid glucuronides affected nematode infectivity. The presented results suggest that oleanolic acid and its glycosides can be considered as potential therapeutic agents.

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