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Open Access Short Report

Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA); targeting oral cavity pathogens

Alsaba F Raja1*, Furqan Ali2, Inshad A Khan2, Abdul S Shawl1 and Daljit S Arora3

Author Affiliations

1 Microbiology Unit, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR), Sanatnagar, Srinagar, 190005, India

2 Clinical Microbiology Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR), Canal Road, Jammu, 180001, India

3 Department of Microbiology, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar Punjab, 143005, India

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:406  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-406

Published: 13 October 2011



Boswellic acids mixture of triterpenic acids obtained from the oleo gum resin of Boswellia serrata and known for its effectiveness in the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease including peritumor edema. Boswellic acids have been extensively studied for a number of activities including anti inflammatory, antitumor, immunomodulatory, and inflammatory bowel diseases. The present study describes the antimicrobial activities of boswellic acid molecules against oral cavity pathogens. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), which exhibited the most potent antibacterial activity, was further evaluated in time kill studies, mutation prevention frequency, postantibiotic effect (PAE) and biofilm susceptibility assay against oral cavity pathogens.


AKBA exhibited an inhibitory effect on all the oral cavity pathogens tested (MIC of 2-4 μg/ml). It exhibited concentration dependent killing of Streptococcus mutans ATCC 25175 up to 8 × MIC and also prevented the emergence of mutants of S.mutans ATCC 25175 at 8× MIC. AKBA demonstrated postantibiotic effect (PAE) of 5.7 ± 0.1 h at 2 × MIC. Furthermore, AKBA inhibited the formation of biofilms generated by S.mutans and Actinomyces viscosus and also reduced the preformed biofilms by these bacteria.


AKBA can be useful compound for the development of antibacterial agent against oral pathogens and it has great potential for use in mouthwash for preventing and treating oral infections.

Streptococcus mutans; Biofilm; PAE; Boswellia serrata