Isolation and characterization of antimicrobial compounds from Terminalia phanerophlebia Engl. & Diels leaf extracts

B Madikizela, M A Aderogba, J F Finnie, J Van Staden
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 2014 October 28, 156: 228-34

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The emergence of drug resistant-tuberculosis and other pathogenic diseases over the past decades, constitutes a serious threat to human health worldwide. According to a 2012 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), South Africa, China, India and Russia are the countries with the highest prevalence of Multi-Drug Resistant tuberculosis (MDR-tuberculosis) as they represented 60% of the total. Several reports have documented antimycobacterial properties of Terminalia species but only a few species from this genus have been explored for their antimycobacterial constituents. The crude extracts of Terminalia phanerophlebia showed good antimicrobial activities in our previous study against two Mycobacterium as well as two other bacterial strains responsible for opportunistic infections related to respiratory ailments. This paper studies the isolation of compounds responsible for such activities and to isolate compounds responsible for antimicrobial activities from the crude extracts of Terminalia phanerophlebia leaves.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Terminalia phanerophlebia crude extracts obtained from 80% methanol was successively extracted with hexane, dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate (EtOAc) and n-butanol. The fractions obtained and isolated compounds were tested for their antibacterial activities against Mycobacterium aurum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Bioguided fractionation of the EtOAc fraction afforded two bioactive compounds. Structure elucidation was carried out using NMR (1D and 2D) spectroscopic methods.

RESULTS: EtOAc fraction exhibited highest antimicrobial activities and its fractionation afforded methyl gallate (methyl-3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate) (1) and a phenylpropanoid glucoside, 1,6-di-O-coumaroyl glucopyranoside (2) These compounds are reported from Terminalia phanerophlebia for the first time. Both compounds showed good antimicrobial activity against all bacterial strains tested with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values ranging from 63 to 250 µg/mL. Inhibition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by 1,6-di-O-coumaroyl glucopyranoside (2) at a MIC value of 63 µg/mL was noteworthy, as this bacterial strain is reported to be the leading cause of tuberculosis worldwide.

CONCLUSIONS: Good antimicrobial activities exhibited by the compounds isolated from Terminalia phanerophlebia authenticate the traditional use of this plant in treating tuberculosis and its related symptoms. Compound (2), 1,6-di-O-coumaroyl glucopyranoside could serve as a lead compound for tuberculosis drug discovery.

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