International Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health Volume 1, Issue 1, 2011 Crosshouse books
Original Research Paper
INVESTIGATING THE EFFECT OF A LOCAL HERB- P. AMARUS (SCHUM. AND THONN.) ON ENTEROPATHOGENIC STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS AND ESCHERICHIA COLI. BY ETTA, Hannah Edim, ELOMA, Nnanke, OKON, Essien Archibong and OFFOR, Ubana BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE DEPARTMENT, CROSS RIVER UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY , CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE, NIGERIA. Abstract Objectives: Entero-pathogenic Staphylococcus aureus (EPSA) and Escherica coli (EPEC) were treated with a methanol extract of Phyllanthus amarus, in vitro, to investigate the possible effects of the herb on these organisms. Zones of Inhibition (ZI) of the extract on EPSA and EPEC cultures and the Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of the methanolic extracts were determined using standard procedures. EPEC showed mean ZI of 17.7 ± 2.56, while the mean ZI for EPSA was 14.79 ± 3.87. Statistical analyses showed positive correlation of 0.56 at P≤0.1 between the plant extract concentrations and EPEC ZI and 0.75 at P ≤0.1 for the EPSA. At the concentrations administered, the extract was active against both EPSA and EPEC isolates. These results present the herb, P. amarus as a possible biotechnological tool in the field of herbal medicine for the control of antibiotic-resistant, entero-pathogenic S. aureus and E. coli infections. Keywords: Entero-pathogenic bacteria, Phyllanthus amarus, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherica coli. Introduction The use of herbs and herbal derivatives in Traditional Medicine Practices (TMP), as a biotechnological tool, has come to stay, not just in Nigeria but in most tropical regions of the world where there are vast, dense, evergreen forests that nature has presented to humanity as a gift of a therapeutic workshop with a wide variety of medicinal plants. With the recent advances in contemporary alternative medicine (CAM) and the emergence of multi resistant strains of microbials, it becomes imperative to explore the wide range of active principles found in our local herbs, one of which is Phyllanthus amarus for the purpose of presenting a natural, safe and affordable antibiotic against common disease – causing agents like EPSA and EPEC. The growing interest in plants with antimicrobial properties cannot be overemphasized. Scientists are becoming increasingly involved in the screening of
such plants with the aim of establishing their potential antimicrobial properties (Morebise et al, 2002). Phyllanthus is distributed in all tropical and subtropical regions on Earth. Leafflower is the common name for all Phyllanthus species (Dalziel, 1968). Phyllanthus amarus is a small, erect, annual plant that grows 30-40 cm in height. It is a broad –spectrum plant which has been found to have great healing potentials (Liu and Huang, 2001). Ethanol extract of the herb has been shown to contain a rich variety of phytochemicals including, polyphenols, anthraquinones, cardiac glycosides, saponins and reducing sugars (Etta et al, 2008). Oluwafemi and Debiri (2008), showed the antimicrobial activity of P. amarus against Salmonella typhi, the organism that causes typhoid fever. Brazilians have used P. amarus to treat colic, tumors, jaundice, diabetics, malaria, flu and dyspepsia
(Thyagarajan et al., 1998). Researchers in China, India and Great Britain confirmed that P. amarus has significant hepatoprotective properties (Rajeshkumar and Kuttan, 2001). The test organisms employed in this investigation, EPSA and EPEC, are both common entero-pathogens known to be causative agents for a number of emerging diseases. EPEC has been identified as the causative agent of diarrhoea in humans, rabbits, dogs, cats and horses. EPEC lack fimbriae, ST and LT toxins, but they use an adhesin known as intimin to bind host intestinal cells. Adherence to the intestinal mucosa causes a rearrangement of actins in the host cell, causing significant deformation. Diseases like...