Novel Antibacterial Activity of Monolaurin Compared with Conventional Antibiotics against Organisms from Skin Infections: An in Vitro Study
October 2007 | Volume 6 | Issue 10 | Original Article | 991 | Copyright © October 2007
Beatriz G. Carpo MD, Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell MD, Jon Kabara MS PhD
Objective: A cross-sectional laboratory study to determine the in vitro sensitivity and resistance of organisms in culture
isolates from skin infections and mechanisms of action of monolaurin, a coconut lauric acid derivative, compared with
6 common antibiotics: penicillin, oxacillin, fusidic acid, mupirocin, erythromycin, and vancomycin.
Methods: Skin culture samples were taken from newborn to 18-year-old pediatric patients with primary and secondarily
infected dermatoses. Samples were collected and identified following standard guidelines, then sent to the laboratory
for sensitivity testing against the 6 selected antibiotics and monolaurin.
Results: Sensitivity rates of Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus spp., and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus,
Gram-negative E. vulneris, Enterobacter spp., and Enterococcus spp. to 20 mg/ml monolaurin was 100% and of Klebsiella
rhinoscleromatis was 92.31%. Escherichia coli had progressively less dense colony growths at increasing monolaurin
concentrations, and at 20 mg/ml was less dense than the control. Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative Staphylococcus,
and Streptococcus spp. did not exhibit any resistance to monolaurin and had statistically significant (P <.05) differences
in resistance rates to these antibiotics.
Conclusions: Monolaurin has statistically significant in vitro broad-spectrum sensitivity against Gram-positive and
Gram-negative bacterial isolates from superficial skin infections. Most of the bacteria did not exhibit resistance to it. Monolaurin
needs further pharmacokinetic studies to better understand its novel mechanisms of action, toxicity, drug interactions,
and proper dosing in order to proceed to in vivo clinical studies.