Antimicrobial and time-kill kinetics of the aqueous extract of Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) seeds

This study evaluated the antimicrobial property of the aqueous extract of Citrullus lanatus (watermelon) seeds and its concentration-effect relationship (time-kill studies) on typed bacterial and fungal strains. Crude powdered seeds of Citrullus lanatus were extracted by maceration with water. Antimicrobial assay of the aqueous extracts was determined against Bacillus subtilis (NCTC 8236), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 10145), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), and Candida albicans (ATCC 24433) using standard microbiological methods. A total of 106 CFU/mL of each test strain was used as a baseline to carry out the time-kill studies. Extract concentration at minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), 2MIC and 4MIC were used over a period of 24 hours. Aqueous extract had an intermediate antibacterial activity with inhibition zone diameters (IZD) of 15 - 18 mm and MIC range of 2.5 - 20 mg/mL. Time-kill studies showed a bacteriostatic, non-concentration dependent mode of antimicrobial activity with characteristic regrowth for all test strains. Citrullus lanatus seeds aqueous extract exhibited antimicrobial activity with a bacteriostatic, non-concentration dependent mode of action against test bacterial strains. Further studies aimed at isolating and purifying the antimicrobial principle in the aqueous extract of C. lanatus seed is warranted as this could serve as a potential new antibiotic for treating microbial infections.

 UF Babaiwa, SO Eraga, JO Akerele