Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

The anti-shigellosis activity of the methanol extract of Picralima nitida on Shigella dysenteriae type I induced diarrhoea in rats

Laure Brigitte Mabeku Kouitcheu1*, Joseph Lebel Tamesse2 and Jacques Kouam3

Author Affiliations

1 Microbiology and Pharmacology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang-Cameroon, P. O. Box 67, Dschang, Cameroon

2 Department of Biological Sciences Higher Teacher’s Training College, University of Yaoundé I, P.O. Box: 47, Yaoundé, Cameroon

3 Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, P.O. Box 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:211  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-211

Published: 17 August 2013



Picralima nitida Stapf (Apocynaceae) is a medicinal plant used traditionally in Cameroon to cure various ailments such as gastrointestinal disorders and dysentery. This study reports the in vitro and in vivo anti-shigellosis activity of the methanol extract of this plant on rats.


The antimicrobial activity of the extract against pathogenic strains was evaluated using the disc diffusion assay and broth microdilution method. After oral administration of a suspension of Shigella dysenteriae type I (sd1), diarrheic rats were divided into 5 groups; the control group received the vehicle of the extract and the four others 125, 250, 500 mg/kg of the plant extract and ciprofloxacin (20 mg/kg) respectively for 7 days. The frequency of faeces emission as well as the weight of normal and diarrheic faeces was recorded. The presence of stools containing mucus or blood and the number of sd1 in faeces were also recorded.


In vitro, the extract had an antimicrobial effect on 11 out of the 17 pathogenic strains tested. The values of CMI and CMB obtain against Shigella dysenteriae type I were 800 and 6400 μg/ml respectively. In vivo, diarrhoea induction was effective and we notice an increase in faeces frequency and weight (p < 0.05), increase in the percentage of diarrheic stool released as well as the mucus contained in stool (p < 0.05), an increase in bacterial population in stool (p < 0.05). Picralima nitida extract, like ciprofloxacin markedly reduces the frequency faeces released and sd1 density from 100% (diarrheic rats) to 47.22 and 61.69% (500 mg/kg) respectively. It also slowed down the movement of charcoal meal through gastro-intestinal tract with the percentage of intestinal length covered of 60.54 (500 mg/kg).


This anti-shigellosis activity in vitro and in vivo attests the usefulness of Picralima nitida in the traditional treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as dysentery.

Gastrointestinal infection; Anti-shigellosis; Picralima nitida