Antibacterial activity of Ficus carica L. extract against six bacterial strains

Hiba Hazim Hamid Al-Yousuf*
Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology for post graduate studies, Bagdad University
Corresponding Author: Hiba Hazim Hamid Al-Yousuf Assistant Lecturer, Department of Biotechnology Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology for post graduate studies Iraq – Baghdad – Al-Jadiriya P. O. Box: 47021 Email: [email protected]
Received:05 October 2012 Accepted: 21 October 2012
Citation: Hiba Hazim Hamid Al-Yousuf* “Antibacterial activity of Ficus carica L. extract against six bacterial strains” Int. J. Drug Dev. & Res., October-December 2012, 4(4): 307-310. doi: doi number
Copyright: © 2010 IJDDR, Hiba Hazim Hamid Al-Yousuf et al. This is an open access paper distributed under the copyright agreement with Serials Publication, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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In recent years, pathogenic microorganisms have developed resistance in response to the indiscriminate use of commercially available antimicrobial drugs commonly employed in the treatment of infectious diseases. Further, the adverse side effect of certain antibiotics, and the emergence of previously uncommon infections, has forced researchers to explore new antimicrobial agents from various sources such as medicinal plants. In present study In-vitro anti-microbial activity of the methanol extract of Ficus carica L. was determined by disc diffusion and broth dilution technique against three gram positive (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus megaterium) and three gram negative bacterial strains (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Proteus vulgaris). The methanol extract of Ficus carica L. is a known antioxidant and can be used as an effective herbal protectant against different pathogenic bacteria. The result of the present study suggests that Ficus carica L. can be used in treating diseases caused by tested organisms.


Antibacterial, Ficus carica and plant extract.


Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), commonly known as fig, is a small or moderately sized deciduous tree indigenous to Persia, Asia Minor, Syria and the Mediterranean region, and widely found in tropical and subtropical regions of India [1] The stem bark is thick about 7 inch diameter, knobby, irregular with grayish color [2]. In traditional medicine the roots of the plant are used in treatment of leucoderma and ringworm. The stem bark of Ficus carica is antipyretic, antipyretic and vermicidal, and the decoction of bark is used in the treatment of various skin diseases, ulcers and diabetes [3].
The principal constituent of fig fruit is sugar, which forms 60-70% of dried fruits. Furanocoumarins are the principal constituents of F. carica leaves which include psoralen and bergapten. The quantity of psoralen is always greater than that of bergapten, umbelliferone and 4´, 5´-dihydropsoralen. The ratio of psoralen: bergapten is not constant, but fluctuates extensively with the seasonal variation from 2.8% to 7.7%. Lower concentrations of both compounds are present in autumn compared to spring and summer [4-5]. Two isomeric C-glycosides of apegenin-6-Cglucosyl- 8-arabinoside (isoschaftoside) were identified and their concentration in fruits was determined by gradient HPLC on reversed phase material [6].
Ficus carica is found to be anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic [7], hepatoprotective [8], antispasmodic [9], antipyretic [10], antibacterial [11], antifungal [12], Scavenging activity and immune response [13]. The present study was designed to investigate the antibacterial activity of F. carica extract against six different bacterial strains

Material Methods

Preparation of extract
Ficus carica stem bark (2.5 kg) was dried at 45 °C, coarsely powdered and extracted exhaustively with methanol in a Soxhlet apparatus. The methanolic extract was dried under reduced pressure to get dark brown mass (215 g, 8.6% yield). The viscous dark brown mass was dissolved in small quantity of methanol and used for treatment purpose.
Test Organisms
The bacterial species used for the test were Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus megaterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Proteus vulgaris. Antibacterial activities Antibacterial activity was studied by a disc-diffusion method. Each of the innocula (test organisms) (1 ml) was poured into sterile Petri dish. A medium (about 400C) was poured into each of the Petri dishes (20 ml). The medium was left to stand for 5 min to allow it to set. Holes were bored on the media with the aid of a sterile cork borer of 10 mm diameter. The holes were marked, then different concentrations (20, 40, 60, 80, 100 μg/ml) of the plant extract were pipette into the hole using sterile syringes. Plates were then incubated at 370C for 24 h. The sensitivities of the test organisms to the plant extracts were indicated by clear zone of inhibition around the holes containing the plant extracts and the diameter of the clear zone was taken as an index of the degree of sensitivity.


The results of antibacterial activity are given in the Table 1 and 2, which clearly show that all the extracts at various concentrations have shown antibacterial activity equivalent to that of standard against the entire tested organisms. Methanol extracts have shown better activity than the standard against all the six microorganisms (Both gram negative and gram positive strains). Methanolic extract of F. carica was more effective against B. megaterium among gram positive strains and E. coli among gram negative strains.


The recent exhaustive work revealed that the plants are important source of potentially useful structures for the development of new chemotherapeutic agents. The foremost stride towards this objective is the in vitro antibacterial activity assay [14]. In this study, the antibacterial activity of extract of Ficus carica (Table 1&2) was carried out by the disc diffusion method. Antibacterial activity of the extract of Ficus carica was investigated against the standard gram positive strain: Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli by disc diffusion testing. This was carried out by placing discs impregnated with test material on surface of inoculated LB agar plates. The plates were then kept in incubator at 37°C for 24 hours and diameters of zones of inhibition were measured. Clear inhibition zones unraveled that the compounds showed the antibacterial activity of the antibiotic disc against Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. It was observed that controlled strain of both gram positive and gram negative bacteria: Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus megaterium, Escherichia coli, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were sensitive against extract of Ficus carica L. Ficus carica L. has innumerable number of therapeutic properties. An essential concept of in vitro susceptibility testing is the measurement of zone of inhibition that is measured and found more effective. It is concluded that plant extract possess antibacterial activity against tested organisms. The zone of inhibition varied suggesting the varied degree of efficacy and different phytoconstituents of herb on the target organism. The antibacterial activity of the plant may be due to the presence of various active principles. Further studies are needed to isolate and characterize the bioactive chemical to develop antibacterial drugs.


The author Hiba Hazim Hamid is highly thankful biology department and Staff in Medical College – Baghdad University for providing constant support and facilities to do this research work.

Conflict of Interest


Source of Support


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