Inhibitory activity of Mentha spicata oils on biofilms of Proteus mirabilis isolated from burns


  • Idriss Saleh Jalil
  • Sarmad Qassim Mohammad
  • Abdullah Khazal Mohsen
  • Bahaa Abdullah Laftaah Al-Rubaii



P. mirabilis, Biofilm, M.spicata, virulence, burns


Introduction and Aim: Proteus mirabilis is an opportunistic pathogen, infecting humans, through the release of endotoxins and enzymes such as urease, hemolysin, protease, DNase etc. One of the factors contributing to its virulence is its unusual ability to form crystalline biofilms. This study aimed to investigate the effect of Mentha spicata volatile oil on P. mirabilis biofilm formation.


Materials and Methods: P. mirabilis was isolated from infected wound of burns of patients using conventional biochemical tests. Vitek 2-Compact System was used to confirm the diagnosis of bacterial isolates. The isolates were tested for their susceptibility to 11 antibiotics. Aqueous and alcoholic extracts as well as Volatile Oil and natural Menthol extracted from M. spicata were tested for their ability to inhibit biofilm formation by P. mirabilis.


Results: In this study 16 out of the 45 burn injury samples were tested positive for P. mirabilis.  Bacterial isolates were found to be resistant to the drugs Levofloxacin and Norfloxacin, with percentages of 10.2% and 11.8%, respectively. Majority of these isolates had the capacity to produce several virulence factors, including biofilm in variable amounts and the enzymes protease, hemolysin, DNase, and gelatinase. The volatile oil and natural component menthol extracted from M. spicata inhibited the formation of biofilm at increasing concentrations.


Conclusion: The volatile oil and the natural menthol compound of M. spicata are effective in inhibiting biofilm formation by P. mirabilis.

Author Biographies

Idriss Saleh Jalil

Medical Laboratory Technologies Department, Technical Institute - Baqubah, Middle Technical University, Diyala, Iraq

Sarmad Qassim Mohammad

Community Health Technologies Department, Technical Institute-Baqubah, Middle Technical University, Diyala, Iraq

Abdullah Khazal Mohsen

Diyala University, Al-Muqdad College of Education, Diyala, Iraq

Bahaa Abdullah Laftaah Al-Rubaii

Biology Department, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Hasan, T. H., Alasedi, K. K., Jaloob, A. A. Proteus mirabilis virulence factors. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 2021;13(1): 2145- 2149.

AL-Dulaimy, I. M., Saleem, A. J., Al-Taai, H. R. R. Detection of flaA, fliC, mrpA and rsbA gene in Proteus mirabilis. Multidrug resistance isolated from different clinical sources in Baquba City. The Egyptian Journal of Hospital Medicine.2023; 90(2):2831-2838.

Contou, D., Claudinon, A., Pajot, O., Micaelo, M., Longuet Flandre, P., Dubert, M., et al., Bacterial and viral co-infections in patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia admitted to a French ICU. Annals of Intensive Care. 2020; 10(1):1-9.

Savoia, D. Plant-derived antimicrobial compounds: alternatives to antibiotics. Future Microbiology. 2012; 7(8): 979-990.

Landeo-Villanueva, G. E., Salazar-Salvatierra, M. E., Ruiz-Quiroz, J. R., Zuta-Arriola, N., Jarama-Soto, B., Herrera-Calderon, O. et al., Inhibitory activity of essential oils of Mentha spicata and Eucalyptus globulus on biofilms of Streptococcus mutans in an in vitro model. Antibiotics. 2023; 12(2): 369.

Procop, G., Church, D., Hall, G., Janda, W., Koneman, E., Schreckenberger, P. et al., Koneman's color atlas and textbook of diagnostic microbiology. 2016, 7thed. Lippincott Williams and Willkins. Philadelphia. Baltimore. New York. London.

Hudzicki, J. Kirby – Bauer diffusion susceptibility test protocol American Society for Microbiology. 2009; 1-23.

Baldo, C.,Rocha, S. P. D. Virulence factors of uropathogenic Proteus Mirabilis - A mini review. International Journal of Scientific and Technology Research. 2014; 3(11): 24-27.

Namasivayam, S., Karthick R. Anti-biofilm effect of biogenic silver nanoparticles coated medical devices against biofilm of clinical isolate of Staphylococcus aureus. Global Journal of Medical Research. 2013;13: 1-7.

Harborne, J.B. Phytochemistry Methods. Chapman and Hall, London, 1973; 182-192.

Bakkali, F., Averbeck, S., Averbeck, D., Idaomar, M. Biological effects of essential oils–a review. Food and chemical toxicology. 2008; 46(2):446-475.

Selim, S. A., Adam, M. E., Hassan, S. M., Albalawi, A. R. Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of the essential oil and methanol extract of the Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.). BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;14:1-8.

Forbes, B. A., Saham, D. F., Weissfeld, A. S. Baily and Scott’s diagnostic microbiology. 2007; 12th ed., Mosby, Inc., an affiliate of Elsevier, Inc. pp: 1-34.

OHara, C. M., Brenner, F. W., Miller, J. M. Classification, identification, and clinical significance of Proteus, Providencia and Morganella. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2000;13(4):534-546.

Li, Z., Peng, C., Zhang, G., Shen, Y., Zhang, Y., Liu, C., et al. Prevalence and characteristics of multidrug-resistant Proteus mirabilis from broiler farms in Shandong Province, China. Poultry Science. 2022; 101(4): 101710.

Jaber, A. H., Almiyah, S. A. F. Molecular detection of some virulence genes for Proteus mirabilis bacteria isolated from diabetic foot ulcers. Eurasian Medical Research Periodical. 2022;8:59-67.

Hayder, T., Abusaiba, H., Alasedi, K., Aljanaby, A. Proteus mirabilis virulence factors: Review. Int. J. Pharm. Res.2021; 13: 2145-2149.

Fernandez, L., Gonzalez, S., Campelo, A. B., Martinez, B., Rodriguez, A., Garcia, P. Downregulation of autolysin-encoding genes by phage-derived lytic proteins inhibits biofilm formation in Staphylococcus aureus. Antimicrobial agents and Chemotherapy. 2017; 61(5): 02724-16.

Hasan, T. H., Al-Harmoosh, R. A.Mechanisms of antibiotics resistance in bacteria. Sys Rev Pharm, 2020;11(6):817-823.

Przekwas, J., Gebalski, J., Kwiecinska-Pirog, J., Wiktorczyk-Kapischke, N., Walecka-Zacharska, E., Gospodarek-Komkowska, E., et al., The effect of fluoroquinolones and antioxidans on biofilm formation by Proteus mirabilis strains. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials. 2022; 21(1): 1-10.

Shahbazi, Y. Chemical composition and in vitro antibacterial activity of Mentha spicata essential oil against common food-borne pathogenic bacteria. Journal of Pathogens. 2015; 916305.

Eftekhari, A., Khusro, A., Ahmadian, E., Dizaj, S. M., Hasanzadeh, A., Cucchiarini, M. Phytochemical and nutra-pharmaceutical attributes of Mentha spp.: A comprehensive review. Arabian Journal of Chemistry. 2021; 14(5): 103106.

McKay, D. L., Blumberg, J. B. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.). Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives. 2006; 20(7): 519-530.

24. Landau, E., Shapira, R. Effects of subinhibitory concentrations of menthol on adaptation, morphological, and gene expression changes in enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2012; 78(15): 5361-5367.




How to Cite

Saleh Jalil I, Qassim Mohammad S, Khazal Mohsen A, Abdullah Laftaah Al-Rubaii B. Inhibitory activity of Mentha spicata oils on biofilms of Proteus mirabilis isolated from burns. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2023 May 26 [cited 2024 Mar. 3];43(02):748-52. Available from:



Original Research Articles

Plum Analytics