Antibacterial Activity of Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Seed and Peel Alcoholic Extracts on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa Isolated From Health Centers

Document Type : Original Article


1 Molecular Biology Research Center, Systems Biology and Poisonings Institute, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


Introduction: Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is an ancient fruit with numerous phytochemical bioactive compounds. In this study, the antibacterial activity of ethanolic extracts of pomegranate peels and seeds were investigated against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates from Tabriz health centers (2017).
Materials and Methods: The ethanolic extracts of pomegranate seed and peel were prepared and GC-MS chromatogram analyzed using Agilent 7890B gas chromatography. The antibacterial activities of extracts were evaluated by agar diffusion and microbroth dilution methods against clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa (n = 10), S. aureus (n = 10) and standard strains.
Results: The ethanolic extracts of pomegranate seed and peel showed inhibitory effects on clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of pomegranate peel and seed extracts were 12.5 and 25.0 mg/mL, respectively. In addition, the minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of pomegranate peel and seed extracts were found to be 25.0 and 50 mg/mL, respectively. In all of the studied bacterial isolates, the MICs and MBCs values for pomegranate seed extract were significantly higher than those for pomegranate peel extract (P < 0.05). The mean inhibition zones and MICs values indicated that the antibacterial activity of pomegranate peel extract had more potent effect on studied bacterial isolates compared with pomegranate seed extract.
Conclusions: According to the findings, the pomegranate peel and seed extracts showed antibacterial activities against bacterial isolates in this study; however, the peel extract had a stronger antibacterial effect than the seed extract. Therefore, further studies including cell toxicity assay and in vivo investigations are recommended.


  1. Palavutitotai N, Jitmuang A, Tongsai S, Kiratisin P, Angkasekwinai N. Epidemiology and risk factors of extensively drugresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. PLoS One. 2018;13(2):e0193431. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0193431
  2. Hosseini MJ, Kiarsi M, Golmohammadi R, Sadripour R. Antibiotic Resistance pattern of bacteria isolated from nosocomial infection in internal surgery and neurosurgery intensive care unit (NICU) at a tertiary care hospital in Tehran, Iran. Biosci Biotech Res Asia. 2017;14(3):1095-1102. doi:10.13005/bbra/2547
  3. Ranjbar R, Tolon SS, Sami M, Golmohammadi R. Detection of plasmid-mediated qnr genes among the clinical quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli strains isolated in Tehran, Iran. Open Microbiol J. 2018;12:248-253. doi:10.2174/1874285801812010248
  4. Choopani A, Golmohmmadi R, Rafati H, Imani Fooladi AA. Prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from wound infection and drug sensitivity pattern, Tehran-Iran (2006-07). J Gorgan Univ Med Sci. 2012;14(3):135-140.
  5. Kian B, Mirnejad R, Mirkalantari S, Moradli G, Golmohammadi R. Molecular genotyping of Acinetobacter baumannii species isolated from patients in Tehran, Iran, by repetitive element PCR fingerprinting. Iran J Pathol. 2018;13(2):144-150.
  6. Alanis AD, Calzada F, Cervantes JA, Torres J, Ceballos GM. Antibacterial properties of some plants used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;100(1-2):153-157. doi:10.1016/j. jep.2005.02.022
  7. Derakhshan Z, Ferrante M, Tadi M, et al. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic content of ethanolic extract of pomegranate peels, juice and seeds. Food Chem Toxicol. 2018;114:108-111. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2018.02.023
  8. Reddy MK, Gupta SK, Jacob MR, Khan SI, Ferreira D. Antioxidant, antimalarial and antimicrobial activities of tannin-rich fractions, ellagitannins and phenolic acids from Punica granatum L. Planta Med. 2007;73(5):461-467. doi:10.1055/s-2007-967167
  9. Devatkal SK, Jaiswal P, Jha SN, Bharadwaj R, Viswas KN. Antibacterial activity of aqueous extract of pomegranate peel against Pseudomonas stutzeri isolated from poultry meat. J Food Sci Technol. 2013;50(3):555-560. doi:10.1007/s13197-011- 0351-y
  10. Vasconcelos LC, Sampaio MC, Sampaio FC, Higino JS. Use of Punica granatum as an antifungal agent against candidosis associated with denture stomatitis. Mycoses. 2003;46(5-6):192- 196.
  11. Houston DMJ, Bugert JJ, Denyer SP, Heard CM. Potentiated virucidal activity of pomegranate rind extract (PRE) and punicalagin against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) when co-administered with zinc (II) ions, and antiviral activity of PRE against HSV and aciclovir-resistant HSV. PLoS One. 2017;12(6):e0179291. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0179291
  12. Gavanji S, Larki B, Bakhtari A. The effect of extract of Punica granatum var. pleniflora for treatment of minor recurrent aphthous stomatitis. Integr Med Res. 2014;3(2):83-90. doi:10.1016/j. imr.2014.03.001
  13. Sharifiyan F, Movahedian-Attar A, Nili N, Asgary S. Study of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) peel extract containing anthocyanins on fatty streak formation in the renal arteries in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Adv Biomed Res. 2016;5:8. doi:10.4103/2277-9175.175241
  14. Jorgensen JH, Turnidge JD. Susceptibility test methods: dilution and disk diffusion methods. In: Jorgensen J, Pfaller M, Carroll K, eds. Manual of Clinical Microbiology. 11th ed. Washington, DC: American Society of Microbiology; 2015:1253-1273.
  15. Andrews JM. Determination of minimum inhibitory concentrations. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2001;48 Suppl 1:5-16.
  16. Hajifattahi F, Moravej-Salehi E, Taheri M, Mahboubi A, Kamalinejad M. Antibacterial effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Punica granatum Linn. petal on common oral microorganisms. Int J Biomater. 2016;2016:8098943. doi:10.1155/2016/8098943
  17. Malviya S, Arvind, Jha A, Hettiarachchy N. Antioxidant and antibacterial potential of pomegranate peel extracts. J Food Sci Technol. 2014;51(12):4132-4137. doi:10.1007/s13197-013- 0956-4
  18. Naziri Z, Rajaian H, Firouzi R. Antibacterial effects of Iranian native sour and sweet pomegranate (Punica granatum) peel extracts against various pathogenic bacteria. Iran J Vet Res. 2012;13(4):282-288. doi:10.22099/ijvr.2012.606
  19. Melendez PA, Capriles VA. Antibacterial properties of tropical plants from Puerto Rico. Phytomedicine. 2006;13(4):272-276. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2004.11.009
  20. Mathabe MC, Nikolova RV, Lall N, Nyazema NZ. Antibacterial activities of medicinal plants used for the treatment of diarrhoea in Limpopo Province, South Africa. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;105(1- 2):286-293. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2006.01.029
  21. Dahham SS, Ali MN, Tabassum H, Khan M. Studies on antibacterial and antifungal activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.). Am Eurasian J Agric Environ Sci. 2010;9(3):273-281.
  22. Kanatt SR, Chander R, Sharma A. Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of pomegranate peel extract improves the shelf life of chicken products. Int J Food Sci Technol. 2010;45(2):216-222. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2009.02124.x
  23. Negi PS, Jayaprakasha GK, Jena BS. Antioxidant and antimutagenic activities of pomegranate peel extracts. Food Chem. 2003;80(3):393-397. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(02)00279-0
  24. Duman AD, Ozgen M, Dayisoylu KS, Erbil N, Durgac C. Antimicrobial activity of six pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) varieties and their relation to some of their pomological and phytonutrient characteristics. Molecules. 2009;14(5):1808-1817. doi:10.3390/molecules14051808
  25. Braga LC, Shupp JW, Cummings C, et al. Pomegranate extract inhibits Staphylococcus aureus growth and subsequent enterotoxin production. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005;96(1-2):335- 339. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.08.034
  26. Al-Zoreky NS. Antimicrobial activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit peels. Int J Food Microbiol. 2009;134(3):244- 248. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.07.002
  27. Ahmad I, Beg AZ. Antimicrobial and phytochemical studies on 45 Indian medicinal plants against multi-drug resistant human pathogens. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001;74(2):113-123.
  28. Opara LU, Al-Ani MR, Al-Shuaibi YS. Physico-chemical properties, vitamin C content, and antimicrobial properties of pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum L.). Food Bioproc Tech. 2009;2(3):315-321. doi:10.1007/s11947-008-0095-5
  29. Voravuthikunchai SP, Sririrak T, Limsuwan S, Supawita T, Iida T, Honda T. Inhibitory effects of active compounds from Punica granatum pericarp on verocytotoxin production by enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157: H7. J Health Sci. 2005;51(5):590-596. doi:10.1248/jhs.51.590
  30. Fateh MV, Ahmed S, Ali M, Bandyopadhyay S. A review on the medicinal importance of pomegranate. J Pharm sci. 2013;3(4):23- 25. doi:10.5530/rjps.2013.4.3
  31. Heber D, Schulman RN, Seeram NP. Pomegranates: ancient roots to modern medicine. CRC Press; 2006.
  32. Prashanth D, Asha MK, Amit A. Antibacterial activity of Punica granatum. Fitoterapia. 2001;72(2):171-173. doi:10.1016/S0367- 326X(00)00270-7
  33. Bhandari PR. Pomegranate (Punica granatum L). Ancient seeds for modern cure? Review of potential therapeutic applications. International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases. 2012;2(3):171-184. doi:10.4103/2231-0738.99469
  34. Scalbert A. Antimicrobial properties of tannins. Phytochemistry. 1991;30(12):3875-3883. doi:10.1016/0031-9422(91)83426-L