Hibiscus sabdariffa Extract Inhibits Adhesion, Biofilm Initiation and Formation in Candida albicans

  • Meenakshi DwivediEmail author
  • Sumathi Muralidhar
  • Daman Saluja
Original research article


Microbial biofilms act as reservoirs for pathogenic sessile microbes which reside inside the three dimensional matrix of the biofilm, and are thus protected against anti-microbial drugs. Most of the anti-microbial drugs fail to completely abolish the biofilm associated infections. In the present study, we provide evidence of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Hs) extract having possible anti-microbial activity, with emphasis on Candida albicans biofilm. The Hs extract was shown to be effective against C. albicans pre-formed biofilm at 3.125 mg/ml and was able to inhibit the hyphae initiation and adherence of cells. Furthermore, Hs extract was able to reduce the C. albicans load in C. elegans by effectively killing the Candida cells thereby reducing the viable colony count and effectively increasing the lifespan of worms. The percentage of viable hatched progeny of worms exposed to Hs extract (both at conc. 1.5 mg/ml and 6.25 mg/ml), was also comparable to that of the control untreated eggs. The Hs extract was also found to be significantly effective against fluconazole resistant C. albicans isolated from patients. Thus, we, for the first time, propose Hs extract as a prospective drug candidate and substitute for eradicating pre-formed biofilm and inhibiting the growth of C. albicans.


Candida albicans Bio-film Hibiscus sabdariffa Natural products Caenorhabditis elegans 



Colony-forming units


Dimethyl sulfoxide


Hibiscus sabdariffa


Multi drug resistant


Minimum inhibitory concentration


Natural products





The authors are thankful to the DBT-BIF bioinformatics facility of ACBR for all the logistic support. Strains used in this study were provided by the CGC, which is funded by NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440).


This work was supported by the scheme of Post Doctoral Fellowship for Women funded by University Grants Commission, India (Grant No. PDFWM-2014-15-GE-DEL-22743) to MD and SAPII by UGC and DST-Purse Grant-II to DS funded by Department of Science and Technology, India.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study protocol was as per the Guidelines and Standards for Research. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of ACBR (ACBR/IHEC/DS-02/09-18), University of Delhi and VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital (IEC/VMMC/SJH/Project/November/2018-1104).


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Copyright information

© Association of Microbiologists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Biotechnology Laboratory, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research (ACBR)University of DelhiDelhiIndia
  2. 2.Apex-Regional STD Centre and State Reference Laboratory for HIV, Department of Microbiology, Vardhman Mahavir Medical CollegeSafdarjung HospitalNew DelhiIndia

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