Spirulina And Its Antibacterial Activity

The spirally twisted filamentous cyanobacterium Spirulina has got a long history of human exploitation. An African tribe living on the lakeside of Chad in North Africa was collecting and eating the Spirulina (or Dihe) from the lake.30

Spirulina excretes variable quantities of products from its metabolism, such as organic acids, vitamins, and phytohormones, and extracts of S. maxima have shown antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtillis, Streptococcus aureus, Saccharomy-ces cerevisiae, and Candida albicans. The presence of high quantities of acrylic acid in Spirulina was substantiated at the end of the seventies and this substance shows antimicrobial activity at 2 mg/L of biomass concentration. In addition, other bioact-ive compounds including propionic, benzoic, and mandelic organic acids were also found.76

Spirulina contains vitamin A, important in preventing eye diseases; iron and vitamin Bi2, useful in treating hypoferric anemia and pernicious anemia; y-linolenic acid, appropriate in treatment of atopic child eczema therapy, to alleviate premenstrual syndrome, and in immune system stimulation.77 Edible microalgae such as Spirulina are rich in protein, lipid, polysaccharide, fiber, microelements, andbioactive substances.78 It has also been reported to have health and pharmacological properties that can help to prevent and cure peptic ulcer and anemia, enhance immunity, as well as antitumor, antiradiation, antipathogenic activities against microorganisms, it can decrease blood lipid and some may act as antiarteroclerosis agents.79-84

To date, relatively few studies have been undertaken examining the antibacterial activity of Spirulina and its extracts.65-67,85-88. One of them, de Mule et al. (1996) tested crude methanolic and aqueous extracts of S. platensis on the growth of

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