African Journal of Biotechnology

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The efficacy of seven ethnobotanicals in the treatment of skin infections in Ibadan, Nigeria

IT Gbadamosi, TO Oyedele


In southwestern Nigeria, ethnobotanical investigation confirmed that Afzelia africana, Alstonia boonei, Azadirachta indica, Ficus exasperata, Senna alata, Tetrapleura tetraptera and Xylopia aethiopica are commonly used in the treatment of skin infections. Therefore, this study examined the in vitro antimicrobial activity of crude methanol extracts of the ethnobotanicals against clinical isolates of Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes associated with skin infections. The isolates (1×10-1 - 1×10-6 cfu/ml) were tested against plant extracts (500 mg/ml) using agar-well diffusion method. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) was determined using broth dilution method. At 10-4 cfu/ml inoculum concentration, C. albicans was significantly susceptible (P≤0.05) to methanol extracts of S. alata and X. aethiopica with 25.0 mm zone of inhibition, while T. tetraptera was the most active on S. aureus with 21.5 mm and S. pyogenes was significantly susceptible to A. africana, A. boonei, S. alata and T. tetraptera with 25.0 mm zone of inhibition. The significant antimicrobial activities exhibited by the methanol extracts of the ethnobotanicals confirmed their therapeutic potentials in the treatment of skin infections. Also soap, cream and ointment could be prepared from these ethnobotanicals for topical application in the treatment of skin infections. However, their toxicity tests will ascertain safety in administration.

Key words: Skin pathogens, antimicrobial screening, methanol extract, indigenous recipes Ethnobotanicals, Nigeria.
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