Antimicrobial Potential of Metformin

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T R Patil
S T Patil
S Patil
A Patil


Diabetes mellitus is a worldwide fast growing non infectious, metabolic disorder. Hyperglycemia of this disease favors various infections. The choice of non antibiotic, antidiabetic drug metformin to treat diabetes mellitus which has antimicrobial activity was found to decrease the incidence and the severity of infections resulting in to improved outcome. It was found that metformin has antimicrobial activity against many Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses. The most promising antimicrobial activity was found against mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possible mechanisms for this anti tubercular activity of metformin are activation of AMPK and mitochondrial ROS production, acceleration of phagosome-lysosome fusion, improved immune response, increased CD 4 and CD 8 cells, rise in mycobacteria specific interferon secretion by CD 8 cells, reduced expression of inflammatory genes. Patients of diabetes mellitus with tuberculosis who received anti tubercular treatment along with metformin as an antidiabetic drug had better prognostic outcome than the similar group of patients who did not receive metformin. Metformin was also observed to increase survival in mice having endotoxemia as a result of the inhibition of mediators of the inflammation. Thus metformin was found to have promising antimicrobial activity which needs to be confirmed by meticulously planned human studies.

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How to Cite
Patil T, Patil S, Patil S, Patil A. Antimicrobial Potential of Metformin. IJPPR [Internet]. 25Aug.2019 [cited 5Jul.2020];11(4):259-63. Available from:
Research Article