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1.  Evaluation of the Antioxidant, Antibacterial, and Antiproliferative Activities of the Acetone Extract of the Roots of Senna Italica (Fabaceae) 
Senna italica, a member of the Fabaceae family (subfamily Caesalpinaceae), is widely used traditionally to treat a number of disease conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases and some forms of intestinal complications. The roots of Senna italica were collected from Zebediela subregion, Limpopo province (S.A), powdered and extracted with acetone by cold/shaking extraction method. The phytochemical composition of the extract was determined by thin layer chromatography (TLC). The chromatograms were visualised with vanillin-sulphuric acid and p-anisaldehyde reagents. The total phenolic content of the extract was determined by Folin-Ciocalteu method and expressed as TAE/g dry weight. The extract was assayed for the in vitro anticancer activity using Jurkat T cells, antioxidant activity using DPPH assay and antibacterial activity by bioautographic method and the microtitre plate method. The acetone extract of the roots of Senna italica inhibited the growth of Jurkat T cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The extract also had free radical scavenging activity as well as reasonable antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus with MICs ranging from 0,08 to 0.16 mg/ml in the same order as ampicillin the positive control. The biological activities observed in the acetone extract validated the ethnomedicinal use of Senna italica.
PMCID: PMC3021157  PMID: 21304625
Senna italica; Antibacterial; Antioxidant; Antiproliferative
2.  Antibacterial Activity of Extracts of Three Croton Species Collected in Mpumalanga Region in South Africa 
The antibacterial activities of three Croton species were compared using bioautography and the serial microdilution methods. The methanolic extracts of all the species had low activity against Escherichia coli. The highest activity was observed with Croton megalobotrys against Enterococcus faecalis with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.02 mg/ml. Croton steenkapianus extracts were the least active of the species investigated, only managing an MIC value of 0.625 mg/ml against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Croton megalobotrys leaf powder was serially extracted using solvents of various polarities. The lowest MIC value (0.06 mg/ml) of the serially extracted fractions was observed with acetone against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The liquid-liquid fractions of the methanol extract of Croton megalobotrys were also tested. The lowest MIC value of 0.02 mg/ml was observed with n-hexane fraction against Enterococcus faecalis. The carbon tetrachloride fraction was further fractionated using column chromatography with silica as the immobile phase. The resulting seven fractions were tested for activity following the bioassay-guided practice, and it emerged that the first three fractions had active compounds against Staphylococcus aureus when the bioautography method was used.
PMCID: PMC3021162  PMID: 21304619
Croton megalobotrys; C. steenkapianus; C. silvaticus; antibacterial activity
3.  Antimycobacterial Evaluation of Fifteen Medicinal Plants in South Africa 
Fifteen plant species were collected from the Nelspruit Botanical Garden based on a list of plants provided by Phytomedicine Programme at the University of Pretoria and their ethnopharmacological information. Hexane, dichloromethane (DCM), acetone and methanolic extracts were screened for antimycobacterial activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis. The acetone extract of Milletia stulhimannii was the most active, showing activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 0.13 mg/ml. Acetone extracts for all plants had lower MIC values ranging between 0.11–1.25 mg/ml against M. smegmatis. Milletia stulhimannii, Albizia gummifera, Xanthocercis zambesiaca and Barringtonia racemosa have shown great potential as anti-tuberculosis agents. They were active against M. smegmatis with average MIC values of acetone extracts of 0.13 mg/ml.
PMCID: PMC3005379  PMID: 21304610
Tuberculosis; Antimycobacterial activity; Milletia stulhimannii; Minimum inhibitory concentration

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