Following claims that some plants have antimicrobial activities against infectious microbes, the in vitro antimicrobial activities of different solvent fractions of ethanolic extract of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta were evaluated against eight standard bacteria and clinical isolates.
The solvent partitioning protocol involving ethanol, petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate and water, was used to extract various fractions of dried pulverized Cryptolepis sanguinolenta roots. Qualitative phyto-constituents screening was performed on the ethanol extract, chloroform fraction and the water fraction. The Kirby Bauer disk diffusion method was employed to ascertain the antibiogram of the test organisms while the agar diffusion method was used to investigate the antimicrobial properties of the crude plant extracts. The microplate dilution method aided in finding the MICs while the MBCs were obtained by the method of Nester and friends. The SPSS 16.0 version was used to analyze the percentages of inhibitions and bactericidal activities.
The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, reducing sugars, polyuronides, anthocyanosides and triterpenes. The ethanol extract inhibited 5 out of 8 (62.5%) of the standard organisms and 6 out of 8 (75%) clinical isolates. The petroleum ether fraction inhibited 4 out of 8 (50%) of the standard microbes and 1 out of 8 (12.5%) clinical isolates. It was also observed that the chloroform fraction inhibited the growth of all the organisms (100%). Average inhibition zones of 14.0 ± 1.0 mm to 24.67 ± 0.58 mm was seen in the ethyl acetate fraction which halted the growth of 3 (37.5%) of the standard organisms. Inhibition of 7 (87.5%) of standard strains and 6 (75%) of clinical isolates were observed in the water fraction. The chloroform fraction exhibited bactericidal activity against all the test organisms while the remaining fractions showed varying degrees of bacteriostatic activity.
The study confirmed that fractions of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta have antimicrobial activity. The chloroform fraction had the highest activity, followed by water, ethanol, petroleum ether and ethyl acetate respectively. Only the chloroform fraction exhibited bactericidal activity and further investigations are needed to ascertain its safety and prospects of drug development.