Inhibitory Effects of Extracts and Isolates from Kigelia africana Fruits against Pathogenic Bacteria and Yeasts
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Inhibitory Effects of Extracts and Isolates from Kigelia africana Fruits against Pathogenic Bacteria and Yeasts

Authors: Deepak K. Semwal, Ruchi B. Semwal, Aijaz Ahmad, Guy P. Kamatou, Alvaro M. Viljoen


Kigelia africana (Lam.) Benth. (Bignoniaceae) is a reputed traditional remedy for various human ailments such as skin diseases, microbial infections, melanoma, stomach troubles, metabolic disorders, malaria and general pains. In spite of the fruit being widely used for purposes related to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, the chemical constituents associated with the activity have not been fully identified. To elucidate the active principles, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of fruit extracts and purified fractions against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Moraxella catarrhalis, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans and Candida tropicalis. Shade-dried fruits were powdered and extracted with hydroalcoholic (1:1) mixture by soaking at room temperature for 72 h. The crude extract was further fractionated by column chromatography, with successive elution using hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, acetone and methanol. The dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions were combined and subjected to column chromatography to furnish a wax and oil from the eluates of 20% and 40% ethyl acetate in hexane, respectively. The GC-MS and GC×GC-MS results revealed that linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, arachidic acid and stearic acid were the major constituents in both oil and wax. The crude hydroalcoholic extract exhibited the strongest activity with MICs of 0.125-0.5 mg/mL, followed by the ethyl acetate (MICs = 0.125-1.0 mg/mL), dichloromethane (MICs = 0.250-2.0 mg/mL), hexane (MICs = 0.25- 2.0 mg/mL), acetone (MICs = 0.5-2.0 mg/mL) and methanol (MICs = 1.0-2.0 mg/mL), whereas the wax (MICs = 2.0-4.0 mg/mL) and oil (MICs = 4.0-8.0 mg/mL) showed poor activity. The study concludes that synergistic interactions of chemical constituents could be responsible for the antimicrobial activity of K. africana fruits, which needs a more holistic approach to understand the mechanism of its antimicrobial activity.

Keywords: Kigelia Africana, traditional medicine, antimicrobial activity, Candida albicans, palmitic acid, synergistic interaction.

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