In vitro and in vivo preliminary results on Spirulina platensis for treatment of impetigo: Topical cream application

  • Saly F Gheda
  • Maha A Khalil
  • Shereen F Gheida


Impetigo is a highly infectious superficial bacterial disease, most common among pre-school children. Applying 11 antimicrobial agents to the Staphylococcus aureus, the most causative organism for impetigo, S. aureus isolates are resistant to all agents except of vancomycin and fusidic acid. Nevertheless, treatment of impetigo using antimicrobial agents may cause serious medical problems, such as destroying normal gut and skin flora and producing gastrointestinal irritations, dermatitis or serious hypersensitivity problems. Thus, the test of new microbial infection-fighting natural compounds is urgent. The in vitro measuring the antibacterial activity of Spirulina platensis extracts, following agarwell diffusion method, against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) clinical isolates showed that the methanolic S. platensis extract is the most active. The in vivo efficacy of applied topical S. platensis creams, both methanolic extract and crude, in treatment of impetigo were compared. In general, clinical application of both active ingredients of S. platensis (Group 1-G1) and crude S. platensis form (Group 2-G2) gave promising and excellent response rates. However, the Group 1 application had the best efficacy, no side effects and no recurrence during the follow-up period. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of both crude alga and its methanolic extract concludes that the potential antimicrobial activity is attributed to synergic effect of some fatty acids. We propose that the higher percentage of linoleic and palmitic acids and the presence of squalane in methanolic extract of Spirulina most probably are the causes of its higher antimicrobial activity.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus, impetigo, Spirulina platensis, extracts, topical cream, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), antimicrobial activity

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(18), pp. 2498-2509

Author Biographies

Saly F Gheda
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Egypt
Maha A Khalil
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Tanta University, Egypt
Shereen F Gheida
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Egypt

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315