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Open Access Research article

Antibacterial constituents of three Cameroonian medicinal plants: Garcinia nobilis, Oricia suaveolens and Balsamocitrus camerunensis

Hugues Fouotsa14, Armelle T Mbaveng23, Celine D Mbazoa1, Augustin E Nkengfack1, Shaheen Farzana4, Choudhary M Iqbal4, Jacobus J Marion Meyer5, Namrita Lall5 and Victor Kuete25*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, Po.box 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Dschang, Cameroon

3 Department of Organic Chemistry, Higher Teachers Training College, University of Maroua, P.O.Box 46, Maroua, Cameroon

4 H. E. J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan

5 Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Biological Science, Pretoria 0002, South Africa

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:81  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-81

Published: 10 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Multidrug resistance is a worrying cause of treatment failure in bacterial infections. The search of bioactive constituents from medicinal plants against multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria has significantly evolved in the two last decades. In the present study, twenty-two compounds (three terpenoids, eleven phenolics and eight alkaloids) isolated from three Cameroonian medicinal plants, namely Garcinia nobilis, Oricia suaveolens and Balsamocitrus camerunensis, as well as the crude extracts were tested for their antibacterial activities against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Gram-negative bacteria amongst which were MDR active efflux pumps expressing phenotypes.

Methods

The microplate alamar blue assay (MABA) and the broth microdilution methods were used to determine the minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of the studied samples.

Results

The results of the MIC determinations indicate that, the best crude extract was that from G. nobilis (GNB), its inhibitory effects being noted against 12 of the 14 tested bacteria. The extract of GNB also exhibited better anti-tuberculosis (MIC of 128 μg/ml M. tuberculosis against ATCC 27294 strain) and antibacterial (MIC of 64 μg/ml against Escherichia coli ATCC10536) activities compared to the extracts of O. suaveolens and B. camerunensis. Interestingly, 4-prenyl-2-(3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadienyl)-1,3,5,8-tetrahydroxyxanthone (2), isolated from the most active extract GNB, also showed the best activity amongst compounds, inhibiting the growth of all the fourteen tested microorganisms. The lowest MIC value obtained with compound 2 was 8 μg/ml against M. tuberculosis ATCC 27294 and M. tuberculosis clinical MTCS2 strains. Other compounds showed selective activities with 11 of the 14 tested bacteria being sensitive to the xanthone, morusignin I (5) and the alkaloid, kokusaginine (13).

Conclusions

The results of the present investigation provide evidence that the crude extract from G. nobilis, O. suaveolens and B. camerunensis as well as some of their compounds, and mostly compound 2 (isolated from G. nobilis,) could be considered as interesting natural antibacterial products.

Keywords:
Antimycobacterial; Antibacterial; Cameroon; Compounds; Garcinia nobilis; Oricia suaveolens; Balsamocitrus camerunensis