The increasing rates of antimicrobial resistance have demanded the development of new drugs as conventional antibiotics have become significantly less effective. Evidence has identified a variety of phytocompounds with the potential to be used in the combat of infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. Considering the verification that terpenes are promising antibacterial compounds, the present research aimed to evaluate the antibacterial and antibiotic-modulating activity of (+)-α-pinene and (-)-borneol against MDR bacterial strains. The broth microdilution method was used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the compounds and antibiotics and further evaluate the intrinsic and associated antibiotic activity. These analyses revealed that (+)-α-pinene showed significant antibacterial activity only against E. coli ( MIC = 512 μ g . m L − 1 ), while no significant inhibition of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa growth was observed ( MIC ≥ 1024 μ g m L − 1 ). However, when combined with antibiotics, this compound induced a significant improvement in the activity of conventional antibiotics, as observed for ciprofloxacin, amikacin, and gentamicin against Staphylococcus aureus, as well as for amikacin and gentamicin against Escherichia coli, and amikacin against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. On the other hand, (-)-borneol was found to inhibit the growth of E. coli and enhance the antibiotic activity of ciprofloxacin and gentamicin against S. aureus. The present findings indicate that (+)-α-pinene and (-)-borneol are phytocompounds with the potential to be used in the combat of antibacterial resistance.
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