In vitro antimicrobial activity of extracts from plants used traditionally in South Africa to treat tuberculosis and related symptoms

Balungile Madikizela, Ashwell Rungano Ndhlala, Jeffrey Franklin Finnie, Johannes Van Staden
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM 2013, 2013: 840719
Respiratory ailments are major human killers, especially in developing countries. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease causing a threat to human healthcare. Many South African plants are used in the traditional treatment of TB and related symptoms, but there has not been a sufficient focus on evaluating their antimicrobial properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of plants used traditionally to treat TB and related symptoms against microorganisms (Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycobacterium aurum A+) associated with respiratory infections using the microdilution assay. Ten plants were selected based on a survey of available literature of medicinal plants used in South Africa for the treatment of TB and related symptoms. The petroleum ether, dichloromethane, 80% ethanol, and water extracts of the selected plants were evaluated for antibacterial activity. Out of 68 extracts tested from different parts of the 10 plant species, 17 showed good antimicrobial activities against at least one or more of the microbial strains tested, with minimum inhibitory concentration ranging from 0.195 to 12.5 mg/mL. The good antimicrobial properties of Abrus precatorius, Terminalia phanerophlebia, Indigofera arrecta, and Pentanisia prunelloides authenticate their traditional use in the treatment of respiratory diseases. Thus, further pharmacological and phytochemical analysis is required.

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