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*Anyonyya Mallam, surendar Angothu
Department of Pharmacognosy,
Vathsalya College of Pharmacy, Bhongir,
Nalgonda (Dist), Andhra Pradesh –  508116, India

Infectious diseases are disorders caused by pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and multicellular parasites. The important cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries is due to pathogenic microorganisms. Symptoms associated with bacterial infections such as headache, nausea, vomiting, fever, cough, cold and organ failures. The therapeutic use of medicinal plant is becoming popular because of their lesser side effects and low resistance in microorganisms.This article describes the antibacterial properties of  Oroxylum indicumVent., Lantana camara, Ruta graveolens, Argyreia  argentea, Mallotus  philippensis [Lam.] Muell. Arg. Var. philippensis, Mahonia manipurensis Takeda, Polyalthia longifoliavar. angustifolia, Prosopis cineraria (Linn.) druce, Bryonopsis laciniosa, Jatropha curcas.


Infectious diseases are mainly caused by pathogenic bacteria. The important cause of morbidity and mortality in immune compromised patients in developing countries is due to pathogenic microorganisms. Many of infectious microorganisms are resistant to synthetic drugs; hence an alternative therapy is very much needed (Al-Bari et al., 2006). The drugs used in primitive medicine were obtained from the early and principle source that are plants.

Bacterial diseases are a type of infectious diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria. It is notable that majority of bacteria are non pathogenic and are not harmful to human health. Some bacteria are even helpful and necessary for the good health. Millions of bacteria normally live in the intestine, on the skin and the genitalia (Khosravi et al., 2006). Mainly bacterial diseases shows when the harmful bacteria get into a body area, multiply their and thrash the body’s defensive mechanism Commonly occurring pathogenic bacteria are Neisseria meningitidis, which can cause meningitis, Helicobacter pylori, which can cause gastric ulcers, Escherichia coli which can cause food poisoning, Salmonella typhi, which can cause typhoid, and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause skin and other infections,Streptococcus pneumoniae causing brain abscesses, pneumonia and septic arthritis, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa causing urinary tract infections and septicaemia, Salmonella typhi causing typhoid fever, Vibrio species causing diarrheal infections.

Medicinal plants have been found useful in the cure of a number of diseases caused by microorganisms. Medicinal plants are a rich source of antimicrobial agents (Mahesh and Satish, 2008). Due to a rapid increase in the rate of infections, antibiotic resistance in microorganisms and due to side effects of synthetic antibiotics, medicinal plants are gaining popularity over these drugs (Babu et al., 2009). Although medicinal plants produce slow recovery, the therapeutic use of medicinal plant is becoming popular because of their lesser side effects and low resistance in microorganisms (Seyyednejad et al., 2010).

Several plants have so far been reported for their antimicrobial activity from around the world. The seeds of Garcinia kola are considered to posses antimicrobial properties and used in the treatment of bronchitis and throat infections (Iwu, 1993). The antimicrobial activity from Mikania triangularis, tested against five genera of bacteria and three genera of yeast, and showed it had activity against Bacillus cereus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, S. aureus and S. epidermidis (Cruz et al., 1996). In a bioassay with Pyricularia oryzae as target fungus 42 Traditional Chinese herbal Medicines were found to show bioactivity (Hu et al., 2001). It was documented that among the compounds extracted from these plants, twelve inhibited the growth of Staphylococus aureus, ten inhibited Escherichia coli, and four inhibited Aspergillus niger and also reported that the most potent compound was one extracted from Tabebuia impetiginosa (Alonso-Paz, et al., 1995).

In this review, the medicinal plant species which have been reported for their antimicrobial properties, reported in referred journals are presented.


Oroxylum indicumVent. (Bignoniaceae)
Oroxylum indicum
Vent. also known as “Shoyanka”, “Sonpatha” or “Midnight Horror” has longbeen reported for its medicinal properties. The tree was distributed throughout the greater part of India but now it is listed amongst endangered species in many areas in the country (Gokhale and Bansal, 2006). This plant being used as an important constituent of several Ayurvedic and tribal medicines (Bhattacharjee, 2000). The plant is reported to possess anti inflammatory, diuretic, anti-arthritic, antifungal, and antibacterial activities (Warrier et al., 1995).

Antimicrobial activity test was done to check the sensitivity of different microbes towards various crude extracts and a column fraction of the plant Oroxylum indicum Vent (Sudipta and Manabendra 2010). Methanol, Ethyl acetate, 70 & 100% extracts of Oroxylum indium Vent stem bark were prepared and tested for the purpose. The extracts were tested for antimicrobial activity against three different species of Gram positive (Bacillus subtilis, E.coli) and Gram negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa). The standard antibiotics are used i.e Ampicillin, Amikacin & tetracycline to compare with the samples. The zone of inhibition (ZOI) as shown by 100% ethanol extract against Bacillus subtilis was almost at par with Tetracycline and Amikacin and greater than that of Ampicillin. The ZOI of the ethyl acetate was greater than that of Ampicillin but less than the other two antibiotics. In E. coli, the column fraction of the 70% ethanol extract showed greater resistance than the standard Ampicillin. The zone of inhibition exhibited by 70% ethanol extract against Pseudomonas aeruginosa were at par with the standard drug Amikacin. In all other cases, the zones of inhibition exhibited by the shown the extracts were less than that shown by the standard antibiotics.

Lantana camara(Verbenaceae)
Lantana camara
, also known as “Spanish Flag” or“West Indian Lantana”, is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family,that is native to the American tropics. It has been introduced into other parts of the world as an ornamental plant and is considered an invasive species in many tropical and sub-tropical areas.L. camara has several uses, mainly as a herbal medicine and in some areas as firewood and mulch. It is also used for the treatment of cancers, chicken pox, high blood pressure, tetanus, rheumatism, malaria and atoxy of abdominal viscera (Abu-Shanab et al., 2006).The Methanolic extract of Lantana camara leaves shown healing of gastric ulcers and also prevents development of duodenal ulcers in rats (Sathisha et al., 2011).  Extracts of the fresh leaves are antibacterial and are traditionally used in Brazil as an antipyretic, carminative and in the treatment of respiratory system infections (Barreto et al., 2010)

The antimicrobial activity of crude Methanolic and acetone extracts of Lantana camara, a traditional medicinal plant was determined against thirteen test bacteria and eight test fungal strains (Ashish Saraf et al., 2011). Extracts of L. camara were obtained from leaves and stems of the plant. To  evaluate  anti microbial  activity  of  the  extracts  the  disc  diffusion  assay  was  performed against various Gram positive, Gram negative bacteria, Fungal strains. The Methanolic extract of  stem  and  leaves exhibits  stronger  anti microbial  activity  in comparison  with  acetone  extract. Both the solvent extracted extracts inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus to the maximum. The fungitoxic spectrum of the test plant’s leaf & stem extracts indicated maximum percentage growth inhibition at 1000μgml-1 concentration against Alternaria alternata. Thus, phytochemicals from L. camara have a broad antimicrobial spectrum and might be a novel source of antimicrobial drugs.

Ruta graveolens (Rutaceae)
Ruta graveolens
commonly known as “rue”, is a dicot herb, belongs to Rutaceaefamily and native to Mediterranean region but widely distributed all over the tropical regions. This plant is used by the Jordanian populations, systemically for its antispasmodic and analgesic effects and externally for its anti rheumatic activity (Khouri  and  Akawi 2005). The methanol, petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and water-methanol extracts of R. graveolens were found to possess antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities (Ivanova et al., 2005). Ruta in combination with Ca3(PO4)2 is found to be effective in treatment of brain cancers, particularly glioma (Pathak et al., 2003). Leaf extracts also reported to possess strong anti-inflammatory activity (Ratheesh  and  Helen 2007).

Ethanolic, Methanolic, Chloroform and water  extracts  of  the  stem  of  Ruta  graveolens were evaluated for their anti microbial activity (Pinkee Pandey et al., 2011). The activity was assessed by agar-disc diffusion and minimuminhibitory concentration (MIC) method against 12 bacterial strains. The ethanolic stem extract showed pronounced inhibition of growth than other extracts. The ethanolic extract showed most susceptible activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis (zone of inhibition was 22.0±0.04mm and19.4±0.24mm) where as Pseudomonas aeruginosa (zone of inhibition was 12.5±0.17mm) was the most resistant bacterial strain at a concentration of 100μg/ml. All the extract showed moderate antifungal activity except Fusarium oxosporium. Phytochemical analysis showed mainly the presence of alkaloids and steroids, which may the active compounds. The antimicrobial activity of this plant would help for development of a new alternative medicine system which has no side effects. R. graveolens stem extracts possess a broad spectrum of activity and open the possibility of finding new clinically effective antimicrobial compounds.



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