Medicinal Plants


Antimycobacterial, Immunomodulatory and DNA repair activity of medicinal plants

Principal Investigator Dr. Tannaz  Birdi

Project Team Ms. Desire D’Souza, Ms. Monica Tolani, Ms. Vinita Nair, Mr. Dipen Desai, Dr. Purva Bhatter, Dr. Pooja Gupta, Ms. Poonam Daswani

Funder Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India (As part of the Virtual Centre of Excellence Grant)

Duration May 2007-June 2012.

Budget Around Rs.35 lakhs


With the emergence of MDR and XDR Tuberculosis (TB), the search for newer drugs and strategies to combat TB has increased. In this study, six plants viz., Acoruscalamus(rhizome), Alpiniagalanga(tubers), Andrographispaniculata(leaves), Ocimum sanctum (leaves),Piper nigrum(seeds)and Puerariatuberosa(tubers), were chosen on the basis of their ability to exhibit antibacterial activity and/ or their ability to boost immune response. The plant extracts were tested using axenic (aerobic and anaerobic) and intracellular assay systems. The anaerobic assays were a modification of Wayne’s model to study the effect of plant extracts on dormant/non-replicating mycobacteria. This could be further explored for the treatment of Latent TB.

Key findings

The results are summarized in the table below. (Right: HPTLC of organic extracts of Piper nigrum under 366 nm)


  • A. galanga was found to show anti-Tb activity with multiple modes of action. Its efficacy under hypoxic conditions could be explored further in treatment of dormant, non-replicating bacteria (Gupta et al., 2014).
  • The acetone and ethanolic extracts of P. nigrum showed enhanced activity when tested in combination exhibiting synergism. Piperine when tested individually did not show activity against H37Rv. However in combination with suboptimal Rifampicin it was found be effective against H37Rv (Birdi et al., 2012).
  • The role of O. sanctum as a Rasayan has been documented earlier and thus we intend to explore the possibility of O. sanctum being used as an anti-mutagenic agent in prevention of development of drug resistance.

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