In Vitro and In Vivo Antibiofilm Activity of Red Onion Scales: An Agro-Food Waste

Ali, N. B., R. A. El-Shiekh, R. M. Ashour, S. H. El-Gayed, E. Abdel-Sattar, and M. Hassan, "In Vitro and In Vivo Antibiofilm Activity of Red Onion Scales: An Agro-Food Waste", Molecules, vol. 28, issue 1, 2023.


Red onion wastes (ROW) are valuable sources of bioactive metabolites with promising antimicrobial effects. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are a growing risk in hospitals and communities. This study aims to investigate the in vitro and in vivo antibiofilm activities of the acidified ethanolic extract of red onion scales (RO-T) and its fractions against an MRSA vaginal colonization model. The RO-T extract, as well as its anthocyanin-rich fraction (RO-P) and flavonoid-rich fraction (RO-S), recorded a promising antibacterial activity against highly virulent strains of bacteria (MRSA, Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). RO-S showed the highest antibacterial activity (MBC of 0.33 ± 0.11 mg/mL) against MRSA USA300 and significantly eradicated its biofilm formation with an IC50 of 0.003. Using a rat model, in vivo assessment on all samples, which were formulated as a hydrogel, revealed a significant reduction of MRSA bacterial load recovered from an infected vagina compared to that of the negative control group (NCG). RO-T extract and vancomycin groups recorded the highest antibacterial activity with a bacterial load 2.998 and 3.358 logs lower than the NCG, respectively. The histopathological investigation confirmed our findings. RO-T and RO-S were standardized for their quercetin content. Finally, ROW offers a new potent antibiofilm agent mostly due to its high quercetin content.