Open Access Research article

Antileptospiral activity of xanthones from Garcinia mangostana and synergy of gamma-mangostin with penicillin G

Weeranuch Seesom1, Amornmart Jaratrungtawee2, Sunit Suksamrarn2, Chantana Mekseepralard3, Piniti Ratananukul4 and Wasana Sukhumsirichart1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

2 Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Srinakharinwirot University, Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

3 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

4 Office of Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:182  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-182

Published: 19 July 2013



Leptospirosis, one of the most widespread zoonotic infectious diseases worldwide, is caused by spirochetes bacteria of the genus Leptospira. The present study examined inhibitory activity of purified xanthones and crude extracts from Garcinia mangostana against both non-pathogenic and pathogenic leptospira. Synergy between γ-mangostin and penicillin G against leptospires was also determined.


Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of crude extracts and purified xanthones from G. mangostana and penicillin G for a non-pathogenic (L. biflexa serovar Patoc) and pathogenic (L. interrogans serovar Bataviae, Autumnalis, Javanica and Saigon) leptospires were determined by using broth microdilution method and alamar blue. The synergy was evaluated by calculating the fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) index.


The results of broth microdilution test demonstrated that the crude extract and purified xanthones from mangosteen possessed antileptospiral activities. The crude extracts were active against all five serovars of test leptospira with MICs ranging from 200 to ≥ 800 μg/ml. Among the crude extracts and purified xanthones, garcinone C was the most active compound against both of pathogenic (MIC =100 μg/ml) and non-pathogenic leptospira (MIC = 200 μg/ml). However, these MIC values were higher than those of traditional antibiotics. Combinations of γ-mangostin with penicillin G generated synergistic effect against L. interrogans serovars Bataviae, Autumnalis and Javanica (FIC = 0.52, 0.50, and 0.04, respectively) and no interaction against L. biflexa serovar Patoc (FIC =0.75). However, antagonistic activity (FIC = 4.03) was observed in L. interrogans serovar Saigon.


Crude extracts and purified xanthones from fruit pericarp of G. mangostana with significant antibacterial activity may be used to control leptospirosis. The combination of xanthone with antibiotic enhances the antileptospiral efficacy.

Leptospira; Mangosteen; Xanthones; Gamma-Mangostin; Synergy; Penicillin G