• Muhammad Akram Randhawa


Background: Nigella sativa seed has been used in folk medicine against many ailments includinginfections. The present study was aimed to investigate activity of thymoquinone, in vitro, againstclinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Methods: Mycobacteria obtained from patients ofKing Fahd Hospital of University, Alkhobar, Saudi Arabia were subcultured at 37 °C in MGIT tubescontaining Middlebrook broth and OADC growth supplement and growth detected by BACTECMicroMGIT fluorometer on day 10. Mycobacteria were then inoculated in MGIT tubes containingthymoquinone 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80 g/ml, streptomycin 1.25 g/ml or controls in Middlebrook brothplus supplement, incubated at 37 °C for 14 days and read daily for fluorescence. In addition, isolateswere inoculated in culture tubes containing Middlebrook agar (plus supplement) in presence ofthymoquinone 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40, 80 g/ml, streptomycin 1.25 g/ml or controls, and incubated at 37 °Cfor 4 weeks. Results: In Middlebrook broth, fluorescence test for tuberculosis was negative withthymoquinone 20, 40 and 80 g/ml and streptomycin 1.25 g/ml up to day 14th. With controls,thymoquinone 2.5, 5 and 10 g/ml fluorescence was detectable from day 10 to 14. In Middlebrookagar, there was no visible growth of tubercle bacillus with thymoquinone 20, 40 and 80 g/ml andstreptomycin 1.25 g/ml, however, with controls, thymoquinone 2.5 and 5 g/ml abundant and with 10g/ml few colonies were observed. Conclusions: Thymoquinone possesses activity against M.tuberculosis with MIC of 20 g/ml and has potential for further investigation. Our study confirms thebenefit of N. sativa in native medicine against chest infection.Keywords: Nigella sativa, thymoquinone, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Micro MGIT fluorometer,Middlebrook broth, Middlebrook agar


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