Background: Coconut oil continued to play a key role in traditional medicine from ancient times. This oil contains antimicrobial properties including lauric acid (C12), medium chain triglycerides that improve human health including enhanced digestion. In this study, we investigated the in vitro antimicrobial activity of lauric acid on bacterial isolates of clinical importance.
Methods: After ethics approval, clinical isolates were obtained from the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Media preparation and biochemical examination of the isolates were performed according to standard methods. Coconut was processed into milk and was subsequently heated in a water bath in the presence of sodium hydroxide (10M solutions of NaOH) to esterified lauric acid. The oil was subsequently subjected to -35 oC for lauric acid esterification. Bacterial isolates S. aureus, Salmonella species, Lactobacillus species and E. coli accordingly. The antimicrobial sensitivity test (AST) was performed according to Bauer-Kirby disc diffusion. Zones of inhibition were measured in diameter. Extracted lauric acid was subjected to a sterility test by incubating overnight at 37°C.
Results: Lauric acid demonstrated the highest zones of inhibition on Staphylococcus aureus 15 mm ± 1.414 mm and Streptococcus species 15 mm ± 0.000 mm at the highest dilution factor of 1:10 followed by Escherichia coli having a diameter of 14 mm ± 1.414 mm and the lowest inhibition on Salmonella species with a diameter 10 mm ± 0.000 mm equal dilution concentration.
Conclusion: In this study, lauric acid demonstrated antimicrobial sensitivity against all tested clinical isolates. This study recommends further study of this acid on other pathogenic organisms including the non-cellular strains viral should be considered.
Audience Take Away Notes:
- Audience will be able to understand the extraction method of coconut oil and lauric acid esterification.
- Understand the antimicrobial properties of lauric acid on bacterial strains
- This research will help researchers to go into research in traditional medicines to cure emerging and re-emerging infections
- This study on coconut oil can guide drug design using lauric acid