Acta Scientific Microbiology (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 12

Characterization of the Microbes Isolated from Salacia reticulata Raw Material and its Extract: A Simple Method to Reduce the Microbial Load in Herbal Products

Rajkumar Bhosale1, Sasidharan Sakkan2, Sanman Kolhe1, Sadanand Yewale1, Shivaswamy Matadha Rudraiah3 and Sriram Padmanabhan4*

1Herbal Division, Sava Healthcare Limited, Research Center, Chinchwad, Pune, India

2QC Division, Sava Healthcare Limited, KIADB Industrial Area, India

3Production Team, Sava Healthcare Limited, KIADB Industrial Area, India

4Head, R&D, SAVA Healthcare Limited, Research Center, MIDC, Chinchwad, Pune, India

*Corresponding Author: Sriram Padmanabhan, Head, R&D, SAVA Healthcare Limited, Research Center, MIDC, Chinchwad, Pune, India.

Received: October 04, 2021; Published: November 30, 2021


The study investigated and characterized the microbes that contaminate Salacia reticulata herbal extracts used as an antidiabetic herbal formula. Also investigated was the microbial load of these herbal powders by pour plate technique and HiChrome agar spread plate methods. The characterization of the isolated microbes confirmed the dominance of members of the genus Bacillus by 16 sRNA sequencing. The fungal sps was found to be Aspergillus that was present in the raw material and also in the dry powder extract of Salacia. While the bacterial count was in the range of 104 to 105 cfu/g, the fungal count of Salacia extract ranged from 2.0 x101cfu/g to 1.9 x102 cfu/g. The isolated bacteria showed sensitivity towards Tetracycline, Gentamycin, Tobramycin, Kanamycin, Streptomycin, Ampicillin, Doripenum, Tripethoprim, Rifampicin and Fusidic acid and resistance towards the action of Azithomycin, Penicillin G, Carbenecillin, Moxifloxacin, Vancomycin and Nalidixic acid. Since tetracycline is a heat-labile antibiotic, we carried out a downstream process of extraction of one of the herbal raw material of Salacia reticulata with water with and without tetracycline. The obtained Salacia extract powders were then subjected to microbial counts and the results indicate >99.99% reduction in the bacterial and yeast and molds load by the proposed manufacturing process. Similar rate of microbial load reduction was seen when the Salacia extract with the microbial load of >104 cfu/g was treated with tetracycline. The residual tetracycline in the final extract preparations was lesser than 5% to the original concentration used. This study emphasizes the need for constant monitoring and control of the standards of herbal medicines and discloses a simple method to reduce the microbial load present in the herbal samples using antibiotics so that after treatment, the microbial load are well within WHO standard.

Keywords: Aspergillus; WHO; Microbes; Salacia reticulata


  1. Beneduzi A., et al. “Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR): their potential as antagonists and biocontrol agents”. Genetics and Molecular Biology 35 (2012): 1044-1051.
  2. Berg G., et al. “Unraveling the plant microbiome: looking back and future perspectives”. Frontiers in Microbiology 5 (2014): 148.
  3. Akerele O. “Nature’s medicinal bounty: don’t throw it away”. World Health Forum 14 (1993): 390-395.
  4. Lima de Sousa CM., et al. “Microbial contamination in herbal medicines: a serious health hazard to elderly consumers”. BMC Complementary Medicines and Therapies,20 (2021): 
  5. Castronovo LM., et al. “Medicinal plants and their bacterial microbiota: A review on antimicrobial compounds production for plant and human health”. Pathogens 10 (2021): 106.
  6. Kasilo OMJ and Trapsida JM. “Decade of African traditional medicine, 2001-2010”.African Health Monito 14 (2011): 25-31.
  7. Ekor, M. “The growing use of herbal medicines: issues relating to adverse reactions and challenges in monitoring safety”. Frontiers in Pharmacology 4 (2013): 177.
  8. Idu MD., et al. “Microbial load of some medicinal plants sold in some local markets in Abeokuta, Nigeria”. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research3 (2010): 251-256.
  9. Adeleye IA., et al. “Microbial contamination of herbal preparations In Lagos, Nigeria”. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition3 (2005): 296-297.
  10. World Health Organization (WHO). Regulatory situation of herbal medicine: A worldwide review. World Health Organization, Geneva (1988).
  11. Sofowora A. “Medicinal plants and traditional medicine in Africa”. Wiley (1982): 256.
  12. Foote JC. “The microbiological evaluation of chamomile: A dissertation in food and nutrition”. Texas Tech University, Texas (2002): 9-19.
  13. Ali N., et al. “Evaluation of a method to determine the natural occurrence of aflatoxins in commercial traditional herbal medicines from Malaysia and Indonesia”. Food Chemistry and Toxicology12 (2005): 1763-1772.
  14. Sharafati R., et al. “Biological characterization of Iranian walnut (Juglans regia) leaves”. Turkish Journal of Biology 35 (2011): 635-639.
  15. Kumar V., et al. “Effect of gamma irradiation on the antioxidant activity of Salacia Reticulata”. International Journal of Traditional and Natural Medicines1 (2015): 15-22.
  16. Yewale S., et al. “Benefits of Soleris® over the conventional method for enumeration of microbial load in Salacia Herbal Extract”. Polish Journal of Microbiology4 (2020): 453-462.
  17. Shah B and Pokhrel N. “Microbial quality and antimicrobial activity of herbal medicine”. Nepal Journal of Science and Technology2 (2012): 191-196.
  18. Esimone CO., et al. “Microbiological quality of Herbal preparations marketed in Southeast Nigeria”. Journal of Natural Remedies1 (2002): 42-48.
  19. Okunlola A., et al. “Evaluation of Pharmaceutical and Microbial Qualities of some Herbal Medicinal Products in Southwestern Nigeria”. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biological Anatomy3 (2007): 661-670.
  20. Reva ON., et al.Bacillus endophyticus nov., isolated from the inner tissues of cotton plants (Gossypium sp.)”. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology 52 (2002): 101-107.
  21. Salkinoja-Salonen MS., et al. “Toxigenic Strains of Bacillus licheniformis Related to Food Poisoning”. Applied and Environmental Microbiology10 (1999): 4637-4645.
  22. Nigris GS., et al. “Biocontrol traits of Bacillus licheniformis GL174, a culturable endophyte of Vitis vinifera cv”. BMC Microbiology 18 (2018): 133.
  23. Logan NA and Halket G. “Developments in the taxonomy of the aerobic, endospore‐forming bacteria”. In: Aerobic, Endospore‐forming Soil Bacteria Edition (2015): 1-29.
  24. Ryu JH and Beuchat LR. “Biofilm formation and sporulation by Bacillus cereus on a stainless-steel surface and subsequent resistance of vegetative cells and spores to chlorine, chlorine dioxide, and a peroxyacetic acid‐based sanitizer”. Journal of Food Protection 68 (2005): 2614-2622.
  25. Bhattacharyya C., et al. “Genome-guided insights into the plant growth promotion capabilities of the physiologically versatile Bacillus aryabhattai strain AB211”. Frontiers in Microbiology 8 (2017): 411.
  26. Li M., et al.Bacillus zanthoxyli nov., a novel nematicidal bacterium isolated from Chinese red pepper (Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim) leaves in China”. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 110.9 (2017): 1179-1187.
  27. Anyanwu CU. “Fungal contaminants of powdered herbal drugs sold in parts of Enugu State, Southeast, Nigeria”. Plant Product Research Journal 14 (2010): 46 -50.
  28. Enayatifard R., et al. “Microbial quality of some herbal solid dosage forms”. African Journal of Biotechnology11 (2010): 1701-1705.
  29. Chopra I and Roberts M. “Tetracycline antibiotics: mode of action, applications, molecular biology, and epidemiology of bacterial resistance”. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews2 (2001) 232-260.
  30. Granados-Chinchilla F and Rodríguez C. “Tetracyclines in food and feeding stuffs: From regulation to analytical methods, bacterial resistance, and environmental and health implications”. Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry (2017): 1315497.
  31. Choi KJ., et al. “Removal of tetracycline and sulfonamide classes of antibiotic compound by powdered activated carbon”. Environmental Technology3 (2018): 333-342.
  32. Ji L., et al. “Mechanisms for strong adsorption of tetracycline to carbon nanotubes: A comparative study using activated carbon and graphite as adsorbents”. Environmental Science and Technology, 43 (2009): 2322-2327.
  33. Maryam L., et al. “Synergistic effect of doripenem in combination with cefoxitin and tetracycline in inhibiting NDM-1 producing bacteria”. Future Microbiology 14 (2019): 671-689.
  34. Gbedema SY., et al. “Modulation effect of herbal extracts on the antibacterial activity of tetracycline”. International Journal of Contemporary Research and Review4 (2010): 1-5.
  35. Agyeman-Duah E., et al. “Microbial quality of herbal powders in Ghana”. Edorium Journal of Microbiology 3 (2017): 10-17.
  36. Christiana NC and Tope O. “Microbial quality of herbal preparations sold in some parts of Nigeria”. GSC Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences3 (2019): 076-084.


Citation: Sriram Padmanabhan., et al. “Characterization of the Microbes Isolated from Salacia reticulata Raw Material and its Extract: A Simple Method to Reduce the Microbial Load in Herbal Products". Acta Scientific Microbiology 4.12 (2021): 119-129.


Copyright: © 2021 Sriram Padmanabhan., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Acceptance rate33%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is July 30, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US