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Open Access Research article

Antibacterial activities of Beilschmiedia obscura and six other Cameroonian medicinal plants against multi-drug resistant Gram-negative phenotypes

Aimé G Fankam, Jules R Kuiate and Victor Kuete*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of science, University of Dschang, P.O. Box 67, Dschang, Cameroon

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:241  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-241

Published: 14 July 2014

Abstract

Background

The rapid spread of bacteria expressing multi-drug resistance propels the search for new antibacterial agents. The present study was designed to evaluate the antibacterial activities of the methanol extracts from Beilschmiedia obscura and six other Cameroonian plants against a panel of twenty nine Gram-negative bacteria including Multi-drug resistant (MDR) phenotypes.

Methods

The phytochemical investigations of the extracts were carried out according to the standard methods and the liquid micro-dilution assay was used for all antibacterial assays.

Results

Phytochemical analysis showed the presence of alkaloids in all studied extracts. Other chemical classes of secondary metabolites such as anthocyanines, anthraquinones flavonoids, saponins, tannins, sterols and triterpenes were selectively detected in the extracts. The extract from the fruits of Beilschmiedia obscura, Pachypodanthium staudtii leaves and Peperomia fernandopoiana (whole plant) displayed the best spectrum of activity with MIC values ranging from 16 to 1024 μg/mL against at least 65% and above of the tested bacteria. The extract from Beilschmiedia obscura was the most active with MIC values below 100 μg/mL against ten of the tested bacteria. This extract also showed MBC values below 1024 μg/mL against 55.17% of the studied microorganisms. Phenylalanine arginine β-naphthylamide (PAβN) significantly modulated the activities of extracts from the leaves and fruits of Pachypodanthium staudtii and Beilschmiedia obscura respectively, by increasing their inhibitory activity against Klebsiella pneumoniae KP55 strain at least four fold.

Conclusion

The overall results of the present investigation provide information for the possible use of the methanol extracts of the studied plant species, especially B. obscura to fight infectious diseases caused by Gram-negative bacteria including MDR phenotypes.

Keywords:
Antibacterial activity; Beilschmiedia obscura; Gram-negative bacteria; Multi-drug resistance; Efflux pumps; Medicinal plants