Phytochemical and anti-fungal activity of crude extracts, fractions and isolated triterpenoid from Ficus thonningii blume
Background: The importance of plants in human health cannot be overemphasized as plants have provided a good source of anti-infective agents in the fight against microbial infections. Ficus thonningii Blume (Moraceae), a plant used ethnomedicinally in West Africa for the treatment of some microbial infections was studied for its antifungal potentials.
Objective: To investigate the phytochemical and in vitro antifungal activity of the extracts and isolated compound from leaf and stem bark of Ficus thonningii.
Materials and Methods: Determination of phytochemical composition of Ficus thonningii leaf and stem bark and evaluation of the anti-fungal activity of the leaf and stem bark extracts using agar-diffusion technique. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of the crude extracts, fractions and isolated compound were determined by agardilution. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the crude extracts was carried out using column chromatography.
Results: The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, cardenolides, terpenoids, saponins, tannins and flavonoids. Crude extracts of F. thonningii demonstrated inhibitory activity on moulds and yeast but none against the dermatophytes (Trichophyton and Microsporium species). Hexane leaf extract was the most active inhibiting all the strains of Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Penicillum chrysogenum and Rhizopus nigricans with an MIC range of 20-312 μg/mL. The MIC of the isolated triterpenoid (10 – 78μg/mL) compared favourably with that of the standard drug, tioconazole, used (10 - 20 μg/mL).
Conclusion: The study showed that Ficus thonningii Blume is a good source of various phytochemicals includingantimicrobial compounds that showed the potential of being developed into a drug for treating relevant fungal infections.
Keywords: Ficus thonningii, Antifungal activity, Triterpenoid, Phytochemical screening