This study evaluates the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties of the areca nut in vitro using isolated organisms. A variety of human and veterinary isolates, both gram positive and gram negative, were tested against areca nut extract by measuring the growth of the organisms using the spectrophotometric method. It was found that both gram negative and gram positive organisms were susceptible to the areca nut extract. The concentration needed for 100% inhibition of growth was found to be 3.3-7 µg/ml for gram negative organisms and 16 µg/ml for gram positive bacteria. The extract was also found to inhibit the growth of Candida albicans at a concentration of 16 µg/ml and inhibited aß atoxin production by Aspergillus fl avus. The extract was also found to inhibit the viral growth of the New Castle Disease Virus (NDV) and Egg Drop Syndrome Virus (EDS) grown in embryo cultures. These results indicate that betel nut chewing may have signiÞ cant disinfective properties.
Key words: Areca nut, antibacterial activity, antifungal, antiviral activity