Open Access Open Badges Research article

Cytotoxic and antimicrobial activity of selected Cameroonian edible plants

Jean Paul Dzoyem124*, Santosh Kumar Guru2, Constant Anatole Pieme3, Victor Kuete1, Akash Sharma4, Inshad Ali Khan4, Ajit Kumar Saxena2 and Ram Anuj Vishwakarma5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biochemistry; Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon

2 Cancer Pharmacology Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, India

3 Department of Physiological Sciences and Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Yaounde, Cameroon

4 Clinical Microbiology Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, India

5 Medicinal Chemistry Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, India

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:78  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-78

Published: 8 April 2013



In Cameroon, the use of edible plants is an integral part of dietary behavior. However, evidence of the antimicrobial as well as the cytotoxic effects of many of them has not been investigated. In the present study, aqueous and methanol extracts from barks, seeds, leaves and roots of three Cameroonian edible plants namely Garcina lucida, Fagara heitzii and Hymenocardia lyrata were evaluated for their cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities.


Antibacterial and antifungal activities were assessed by the broth micro-dilution method meanwhile the cytotoxicity was performed using sulphorhodamine B assay (SRB) against the human leukemia THP-1, the alveolar epithelial A549, prostate cancer PC-3, breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 and cervical cancer HeLa cell lines.


The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of the seven tested extracts ranged from 62.5 μg/ml to 1000 μg/ml. The methanol (MeOH) extract from the roots of H. lyrata showed the highest antibacterial activity against Gram-positive bacteria S. aureus and S. epidermitis. The best antifungal activity was obtained with the MeOH extract from the leaves of G. lucida against C. tropicalis (MIC value of 62.5 μg/ml). The in vitro antiproliferative activity revealed that, extract from the bark of F. heitzii and extract from H. lyrata roots had significant cytotoxic activity on THP-1 (IC50 8.4 μg/ml) and PC-3 (IC50 9.5 μg/ml) respectively.


Our findings suggest that Cameroonian spices herein studied could be potentially useful for the development of therapeutic agents against bacterial infections as well as for prostate and leukemia cancer.

Cytotoxic; Antimicrobial; Edible plants; Cameroon