Antimicrobial activity of organic total extracts of three Kenyan medicinal plants

Esther N. Matu, Peter G. Kirira, Elizabeth V. M. Kigondu, Enoch M Moindi, Beatrice A. Amugune


In recent years, drug resistance to human pathogenic

bacteria and fungi has increasingly been reported all over the world (Levy and Marshall, 2004; WHO 2004). Consequently, the increasing prevalence of multidrugresistant strains of microorganisms raises an urgent need to search for new sources of antimicrobial agents (Sieradzki et al, 1999) alongside other strategies such as regulated and rational use of antibiotics (Hernandez, 2005). 

The vast majority of traditionally used medicinal plants have not been adequately evaluated. This study was therefore undertaken to screen organic extracts obtained from three Kenyan medicinal plants for antibacterial and antifungal activity as a basis for further phytochemical studies. The plants to be studied were selected on the basis of ethnopharmacological reports of their use in traditional medicine; this approach is generally considered effective in the discovery of new bioactive agents from higher plants (Kloucek et al, 2005).

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