Earthworm plays a major role in the proper functioning of the soil ecosystem. It acts as scavenger and helps in recycling of dead and decayed plant material by feeding on them. Earthworm increases the soil fertility and is often referred to as a farmer’s friend. Earthworms have been used in medicine for various remedies. The paste prepared from earthworm, Eudrilus eugeniae was tested for antibacterial, antifungal activities. For the antimicrobial screening, four species of bacterial isolate and two species of fungal isolates were selected. The bacterial cultures were used for antimicrobial testing maintained on nutrient agar slant and the fungal strains were maintained on Sabouraud dextrose agar slant at 4°C. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined using micro dilution broth method. Earthworm paste at a dose of 100 µl was able to inhibit the growth of bacteria of S. aureus at a maximum level as compared to other bacteria; the growth of fungal Candida albicans was much inhibited. The MIC results indicated that earthworm paste at a dose of 200 µl inhibited the bacterial growth. These studies may lead to the formulation of new antimicrobial drug. The antimicrobial activity of the paste was determined by an agar diffusion method using well and disc, the study clearly indicates that the paste contain a good antibacterial potential and the bioactive compounds to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. Hence earthworm paste (EP) has a good potential to develop a new drug.
Key words: Eudrilus eugeniae, antimicrobial activity, fungal and bacteria strains
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