Research Highlights

Antibiotic and Curcumin Use - A note of Caution!

- Sandhya Marathe, Dipshikha Chakravortty, MCBL

Curcumin is an important chemical ingredient of turmeric. Over decades, turmeric has gained importance in treating various diseases, as a food additive, as a preservative etc. Typhoid fever is ever on rise across the globe and this disease burden is a serious cause of economic loss, mortality and morbidity. Ciprofloxacin is the first line drug to treat typhoid fever caused by Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi. The action of ciprofloxacin in killing Salmonella Typhi is partly through the generation of free oxygen radical. In our current paper which appeared in, Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy1, we elegantly demonstrated that curcumin inhibited the action of ciprofloxacin. Curcumin did not prevent the ciprofloxacin induced cleavage of DNA by gyrase. The inhibition was attributed to the quenching of reactive oxygen species by curcumin . These observations strongly suggest against the use of consumption of turmeric tablets which is available over the counter and probably other free oxygen radical inhibitors during antibiotic therapy.


  1. Marathe SA, Kumar R, Ajitkumar P, Nagaraja V, Chakravortty D (2012) Curcumin reduces the antimicrobial activity of ciprofloxacin against Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Typhi. J Antimicrob Chemother. Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print]