Antimicrobial activity of customary medicinal plants of the Yaegl Aboriginal community of northern New South Wales, Australia

a preliminary study

Joanne Packer, Tarannum Naz, David Harrington, Joanne F. Jamie, Subramanyam R. Vemulpad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: This study is a collaboration between Macquarie University researchers and the Yaegl Aboriginal Community of northern NSW, Australia to investigate the antimicrobial potential of plants used in the topical treatment of wounds, sores and skin infections. Based on previously documented medicinal applications, aqueous and aqueous ethanolic extracts of Alocasia brisbanensis, Canavalia rosea, Corymbia intermedia, Hibbertia scandens, Ipomoea brasiliensis, Lophostemon suaveolens and Syncarpia glomulifera and the aqueous extracts of Smilax australis and Smilax glyciphylla were tested against common wound pathogens, including antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. Methods: Plant material was prepared as aqueous extractions modelled on customary preparations and using 80% aqueous ethanol. Extracts were assayed against a selection of clinically relevant Gram positive (Streptococcus pyogenes and sensitive and resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram negative (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium) bacteria and a fungus (Candida albicans) using disc diffusion and MTT microdilution methods. Viability of treated microorganisms was determined by subculturing from microdilution assays. Results: The extracts of Corymbia intermedia, Lophostemon suaveolens and Syncarpia glomulifera had promising levels of antimicrobial activity (MIC 31-1,000 μg/mL) against both antibiotic sensitive and resistant Staphylococcus aureus as well as the fungus Candida albicans (clinical isolate). Conclusion: Aqueous and 80% aqueous ethanolic extracts of Lophostemon suaveolens, Corymbia intermedia and Syncarpia glomulifera exhibited promising levels of antimicrobial activity against a range of both antibiotic sensitive and resistant strains of microorganisms. This is the first report of antimicrobial activities for C. intermedia and L. suaveolens and the leaves of S. glomulifera. This study demonstrates the value of customary knowledge in the identification of new sources of antimicrobial treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number276
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMC Research Notes
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Antimicrobials
  • Ethnobotany
  • Multidrug resistant
  • Traditional medicine
  • Wound healing

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