J Mutembei


The aim of the study was to evaluate antimicrobial potentiality and establish phytochemical profiles of tenmedicinal plants collected from the rural communities of Chuka, Tharaka Nithi County of Kenya. Plant sampleswere collected, dried, pulverized into a fine powder and extracted with distilled water. Phytochemical screeningwas carried out qualitatively on the aqueous extracts using standard established procedures. Filter‐paper disc‐agardiffusion procedure was used to determine the plant extract activity on four bacterial strains and a fungus. Albiziaanthelmintica, Entada leptostachya and Warbugia ugandensis extracts were active against Staphylococcus aureus,Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. E. coli was the most susceptiblebacteria against all the plant extracts tested except Harissonia abyssinica. Vernonia lasiopus and Uvariodendronanisatum were the least active extracts. Phytochemical investigation revealed the presence of terpeniods, tanninsand reducing sugars in all the plants except one. Saponins were found to be present in A. anthelmintica, E.leptostachya Raponae rhododendroides, and Warbugia ugandesis. Steroids were present in seven plants whilealkaloids were present in five plants. Condensed tannins, terpenoids and saponins have been reported to haveantimicrobial as well as antihelmintic properties, and their presence in most plant extracts investigated in thisevaluation could be attributable to them. Susceptibility against E. coli and C. albicans was significantly comparableto benzathine penicillin and streptomycin. There exist a correlation between antimicrobial activity andphytoconstituents present in the plants evaluated in this study. The type of ailments the plants are claimed to treatby the particular communities can be justified to some extent by the presence of various classes of phytochemicalssuch as terpenoids associated with antimalarial, tannins and saponins as antibacterial and anthelmintics. Inconclusion, the plants evaluated were found to be active against the microorganisms tested. Further investigationfor the active phytoconstituents present in these plants can lead to lead compounds for antimicrobial drugdevelopment.


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