The Antifungal and Antibacterial Effect of Citrullus Colocynthis: In Vitro Study


  • Elahe Tahmasebi Research Center for Prevention of Oral and Dental Diseases, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mohsen Yazdanian Research Center for Prevention of Oral and Dental Diseases, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Hamid Tebyaniyan Department of Science and Research, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • Armin Soudi Department of Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Reza Ranjbar Research Center for Prevention of Oral and Dental Diseases, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Mehrdad Moosazadeh Moghaddam Applied Biotechnology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Majid Balaei-Kahnamoei Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Somayeh Khoramian Tusi Dental College, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
  • Mahsima Tayefi Nasrabadi Dental College, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
  • Mohammad Taghi Vatandoust Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Shahed University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran



Alcoholic extract, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Citrullus colocynthis


Introduction: Bacteria almost exclusively cause caries and other oral and dental diseases. This study evaluated the inhibitory effect of the alcoholic extract of Citrullus colocynthis on bacteria and fungi common in oral bacteria diseases.

Method and materials: The ethanol extract and essential oil of Citrullus colocynthis were obtained via water distillation. After conducting phytochemical tests, including determination of total phenolic and flavonoid compounds of the extracts, GC-MASS test and microbial tests of the extracts were conducted on S. mutans, E. coli, S. salivarius, L. acidophilus, C. albicans, and S. aureus. The cytotoxicity test was assessed by MTT assay.

Results: MIC and MBC values for S. mutans, S. salivalius, and L. acidophilus were 1.56 mg/ml and 3.12 mg/ml, respectively. Moreover, Citrullus colocynthis also has an inhibitory effect on bacteria and C. albicans at these concentrations, according to the DAD test. The survival rate of cells at concentrations of 5 mg/ml and 10 mg/ml was less than 50%, and at concentrations of 2.5 mg/ml and 1.25 mg/ml was less than 70% after 24 hours and 48 hours.

Conclusion: According to the cytotoxicity results of this plant at concentrations of 1.56 mg/ml and 3.125 mg/ml, the ethanolic extract of C. colocynthis has inhibitory and lethal effects against pathogenic bacteria and fungi.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Plum Analytics Artifact Widget Block


Cheng L, Zhang L, Yue L, Fan M, Yang D, Huang Z, et al. Expert consensus on dental caries management. Int J Oral Sci 2022;14(1):17. PMid:35361749 DOI:

Pihlstrom BL, Michalowicz BS, Johnson NW. Periodontal diseases. Lancet. 2005;366(9499):1809-20. DOI:

Gillam DG, Turner W. Antibiotics in the treatment of periodontal disease: A guide for the general dental practitioner. Prim Dent J. 2014;3(3):43-7. PMid:25198638 DOI:

Mathur VP, Dhillon JK. Dental caries: A disease which needs attention. Indian J Pediatr. 2018;85(3):202-6. PMid:28643162 DOI:

Khojaste M, Yazdanian M, Tahmasebi E, Shokri M, Houshmand B, Shahbazi R. Cell toxicity and inhibitory effects of cyperus rotundus extract on Streptococcus mutans, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Candida albicans. Eur J Transl Myol. 2018;28(4:(7917. PMid:30662703 DOI:

Nehmatullah V, Ismael H, Chalabi D. Antimicrobial potential of some plant extracts against Candida species isolated from infants oral thrush. Proceeding of the 2nd Scientific Conference on Women’s Health. 2020; 2:1-9.

Wijayanti DM, Hendrayana MA, Pertiwi NK. Ekstrak daun kedondong hutan (Spondias pinnata) menghambat pertumbuhan Candida albicans dari penderita oral thrush secara in vitro. Bali Dent J. 2020;4(1):8-12. DOI:

Ruparelia JP, Chatterjee AK, Duttagupta SP, Mukherji S. Strain specificity in antimicrobial activity of silver and copper nanoparticles. Acta Biomater. 2008;4(3):707-16. PMid:18248860 DOI:

Mohamadi J, Motaghi M. Anti-fungal resistance in candida isolated from oral and diaper rash candidiasis in neonates. Bioinformation. 2014;10(11):667-72. PMid:25512681 DOI:

Roozegar MA, Jalilian FA, Havasian MR, Panahi J, Pakzad I. Antimicrobial effect of Pistacia atlantica leaf extract. Bioinformation. 2016;12(1):19-24. DOI:

Hu QP, Cao XM, Hao DL, Zhang LL. Chemical composition, antioxidant, DNA damage protective, cytotoxic and antibacterial activities of Cyperus rotundus rhizomes essential oil against foodborne pathogens. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):1-9. DOI:

Sharma SK, Singh AP. Antimicrobial investigations on rhizomes of Cyperus rotundus Linn. Pharm Lett. 2011;3(3):427-31.

Panahi J, Havasian MR, Pakzad I, Davudian A, Jalilian F, Jalilian A. In vitro inhibitory effect of alcoholic extract of inner stratum of oak fruit (Jaft) on Candida albicans. J Pharm Biomed Sci. 2013;3(1):5-8.

Upadhyay B, Roy S, Kumar A. Traditional uses of medicinal plants among the rural communities of Churu district in the Thar Desert, India. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;113(3):387-99. PMid:17714898 DOI:

Abo K, Fred-Jaiyesimi A, Jaiyesimi A. Ethnobotanical studies of medicinal plants used in the management of diabetes mellitus in South Western Nigeria. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008;115(1):67-71. PMid:17950547 DOI:

Bhasin A, Singh S, Garg R. Nutritional and medical importance of Citrullus colocynthis – A review. Plant Arch. 2020;20(2):3400-6.

Liu Y, Zhang L, Xue J, Wang K, Hua H, Yuan T. Norcolocynthenins A and B, two cucurbitane 3-nor-Triterpenoids from Citrullus colocynthis and their cytotoxicity. Bioorg Chem. 2020;101:104045. PMid:32629288 DOI:

Ahmed M, Mingshan J, Qin P. Antioxidant, antifungal and insecticidal activity of triterpenoids spinasterol, 22, 23-dihydrospinasterol isolated from Colocynthis (Citrullus colocynthis L.) Leaves. Sci Rep. 2022;12:4910. DOI:

Al-Nawab NA, Al-Delfi IR, MuzherHussein R, Thamer SR, Thamer MR. Effect of Citrullus colocynthis medium on in vitro oocytes maturation rate. Ann Trop Med Public Health. 2020;23:231-04. DOI:

Pashmforosh M, Rajabi Vardanjani H, Rajabi Vardanjani H, Pashmforosh M, Khodayar MJ. Topical anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of Citrullus colocynthis extract cream in rats. Medicina. 2018;54(4):51. PMid:30344282 DOI:

Mehta A, Srivastva G, Kachhwaha S, Sharma M, Kothari S. Antimycobacterial activity of Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. against drug sensitive and drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis and MOTT clinical isolates. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013;149(1):195-200. PMid:23816500 DOI:

Degola F, Marzouk B, Gori A, Brunetti C, Dramis L, Gelati S, et al. Aspergillus flavus as a model system to test the biological activity of botanicals: An example on Citrullus colocynthis L. schrad. organic extracts. Toxins. 2019;11(5):286. PMid:31121811 DOI:

Daneshkazemi A, Zandi H, Davari A, Vakili M, Emtiazi M, Lotfi R, et al. Antimicrobial activity of the essential oil obtained from the seed and Oleo-Gum-resin of Ferula assa-foetida against oral pathogens. Front Dent. 2019;16(2):113-20. DOI:

Judaki A, Panahi J, Havasian MR, Tajbakhsh P, Roozegar MA. Study of the inhibitory effect of Quercus Coccifera’s aqueous extract on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in vitro. Bioinformation. 2014;10(11):689-96. PMid:25512685 DOI:

Shaikh J, Shaikh D, Rahman AB, Shafi S. Antimicrobial and toxicological studies on fruit pulp of Citrullus colocynthis L. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2016;29(1):9-15. PMid:26826821

Mehmannavaz H, Eidi S, Ghodrati Azadi H, Rahbar N. Antifungal activity of the Citrullus colocynthis hydroalcholic extract. Natl Congr Med Plants. 2012;17:396.

Marzouk B, Marzouk Z, Fenina N, Bouraoui A, Aouni M. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of Tunisian Citrullus colocynthis Schrad. immature fruit and seed organic extracts. Eur Rev Med Pharm Sci. 2011;15(6):665-72. PMid:21796871

Najafi S, Sanadgol N, Sadeghi-Nejad B, Beiragi M, Sanadgol E. Phytochemical screening and antibacterial activity of Citrullus colocynthis (Linn.) Schrad against Staphylococcus aureus. J Med Plants. 2010;4:2321-5.

Gowri SS, Priyavardhini S, Vasantha K, Umadevi M. Antibacterial activity on Citrullus colocynthis Leaf extract. Anc Sci Life. 2009;29(1):12-3. PMid:22557336




How to Cite

Tahmasebi E, Yazdanian M, Tebyaniyan H, Soudi A, Ranjbar R, Moghaddam MM, Balaei-Kahnamoei M, Tusi SK, Nasrabadi MT, Vatandoust MT. The Antifungal and Antibacterial Effect of Citrullus Colocynthis: In Vitro Study. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2022 Oct. 14 [cited 2023 Mar. 31];10(A):1585-91. Available from:

Most read articles by the same author(s)