In Vitro Effects of Homeopathic Drugs on Cultured Escherichia coliFunding This work was supported by Omida AG, Küssnacht am Rigi, Switzerland, who provided the homeopathic remedies.
08 November 2017
07 February 2018
22 March 2018 (eFirst)
Background Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the most common morbidities in persons with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD). Repetitive antibiotic treatment increases the risk of selecting multi-resistant bacteria. Homeopathic treatment has been reported to be effective in these patients. The mechanism of action, however, has not been clarified. Recently, a direct bactericidal effect of homeopathic remedies was shown. Such an effect is not in accordance with the general principles of homeopathy. To test this paradigm, we assessed the in vitro effects of homeopathic drugs on Escherichia coli derived from patients with NLUTD.
Methods E. coli bacteria were harvested from 28 consecutive urine cultures. Standard antibiotic resistance testing and simultaneous resistance testing to homeopathic drugs (Apis mellifica, Cantharis, Causticum hahnemanni, Staphysagria, Nux vomica, Berberis vulgaris, and Lycopodium clavatum) in high (C30) potency were performed.
Results No significant inhibitory effect of any of the tested homeopathic drugs on any E. coli population could be found, irrespective of their sensitivity to antibiotic treatment.
Conclusion Based on our results, effects of homeopathic treatment of UTI are not based on direct bactericidal or bacteriostatic effects. These findings are in concordance with the hypothesis that homeopathy is based on host effects: for example, activation of the immune system, rather than effects on pathogens.
- 1 Esclarín De Ruz A, García Leoni E, Herruzo Cabrera R. Epidemiology and risk factors for urinary tract infection in patients with spinal cord injury. J Urol 2000; 164: 1285-1289
- 2 Biering-Sørensen F, Nielans HM, Dørflinger T, Sørensen B. Urological situation five years after spinal cord injury. Scand J Urol Nephrol 1999; 33: 157-161
- 3 Vigil HR, Hickling DR. Urinary tract infection in the neurogenic bladder. Transl Androl Urol 2016; 5: 72-87
- 4 Gamé X, Castel-Lacanal E, Bentaleb Y. , et al. Botulinum toxin A detrusor injections in patients with neurogenic detrusor overactivity significantly decrease the incidence of symptomatic urinary tract infections. Eur Urol 2008; 53: 613-618
- 5 Krebs J, Wöllner J, Pannek J. Risk factors for symptomatic urinary tract infections in individuals with chronic neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. Spinal Cord 2016; 54: 682-686
- 6 Merritt JL. Residual urine volume: correlate of urinary tract infection in patients with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1981; 62: 558-561
- 7 Hinkel A, Finke W, Bötel U, Gatermann SG, Pannek J. Increasing resistance against antibiotics in bacteria isolated from the lower urinary tract of an outpatient population of spinal cord injury patients. Urol Int 2004; 73: 143-148
- 8 Holzapfel K. Erfahrungen mit der Homöopathie bei akuten Harnwegsinfekten bei Frauen. ZKH 2016; 60: 64-71
- 9 Jonas WB, Kaptchuk TJ, Linde K. A critical overview of homeopathy. Ann Intern Med 2003; 138: 393-399
- 10 Mishra P. In vitro antibacterial activity of homoeopathy medicines. Homeopathic Journal 4; 2011. Available at: https://www.homeobook.com/in-vitro-antibacterial-activity-of-homoeopathy-medicines/ . Accessed November 10, 2017
- 11 Nambison KMN, Khan Q, Chaturvedi AK, Shrivatsav B, Nisanth S. Antibacterial activity of homeopathic drugs in vitro. Available at: http://homeopathyworldcommunity.ning.com/forum/topics/antibacterial-activity-of . Accessed November 10, 2017
- 12 Passeti TA, Bissoli LR, Macedo AP, Libame RB, Diniz S, Waisse S. Action of antibiotic oxacillin on in vitro growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) previously treated with homeopathic medicines. Homeopathy 2017; 106: 27-31
- 13 Passeti TA, Manzoni AJ, Ambrozino LGP. , et al. Ação dos medicamentos homeopáticos Arnica montana, Gelsemium sempervirens, Belladonna, Mercurius solubillis e nosódio sobre o crescimento in vitro da bactéria Streptococcus pyogenes. . Rev Homeopat 2014; 77: 1-9
- 14 Bauer AW, Kirby WM, Sherris JC, Turck M. Antibiotic susceptibility testing by a standardized single disk method. Am J Clin Pathol 1966; 45: 493-496
- 15 Magiorakos AP, Srinivasan A, Carey RB. , et al. Multidrug-resistant, extensively drug-resistant and pandrug-resistant bacteria: an international expert proposal for interim standard definitions for acquired resistance. Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: 268-281
- 16 Pannek J, Pannek-Rademacher S, Jus MC, Jus MS. Usefulness of classical homoeopathy for the prevention of urinary tract infections in patients with neurogenic bladder dysfunction: a case series. Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2014; 8: 31-36
- 17 Penna TC, Mazzola PG, Silva Martins AM. The efficacy of chemical agents in cleaning and disinfection programs. BMC Infect Dis 2001; 1: 16
- 18 Jus MS. Praktische Materia Medica. 3rd ed. Zug, Switzerland: Homöosana; 2009
- 19 Rosen DA, Hooton TM, Stamm WE, Humphrey PA, Hultgren SJ. Detection of intracellular bacterial communities in human urinary tract infection. PLoS Med 2007; 4: e329
- 20 Egan AJ, Cleverley RM, Peters K, Lewis RJ, Vollmer W. Regulation of bacterial cell wall growth. FEBS J 2017; 284: 851-867
- 21 Goetz LL, Cardenas DD, Kennelly M. , et al. International spinal cord injury urinary tract infection basic data set. Spinal Cord 2013; 51: 700-704
- 22 De A, Das D, Dutta S, Chakraborty D, Boujedaini N, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Potentiated homeopathic drug Arsenicum Album 30C inhibits intracellular reactive oxygen species generation and up-regulates expression of arsenic resistance gene in arsenite-exposed bacteria Escherichia coli. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2012; 10: 210-227