In vitro antifungal and cytotoxicity activities of selected Tanzanian medicinal plants
Purpose: To evaluate the antifungal and cytotoxic activities of four medicinal plants from Tanzania, namely, Mystroxylon aethiopicum, Lonchocarpus capassa, Albizia anthelmentica and Myrica salicifolia.
Methods: The plant materials were subjected to extraction using dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and distilled water. The minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of the extracts against Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans was determined by microdilution method. The lowest concentration which showed no fungal growth was considered as MIC. The cytotoxic effect of the extracts was determined using brine shrimp toxicity assay.
Results: Lonchocarpus capassa leaf extracts exhibited antifungal activity against test fungal strains with MIC range of 0.78 – 3.13 mg/mL with Lonchocarpus capassa aqueous leaf extract (LCAL) inhibiting C. albicans and C. neoformans at MIC value of 0.78 mg/mL. Cytotoxicity assay revealed that LCAL extract which displayed good antifungal activity, was cytotoxic against brine shrimp larvae with halfmaximal lethal concentration (LC,sub>50) value of 17.86 μg/mL. Interestingly, 33 % of plant extracts exhibited high cytotoxicity with LC50 values below that of the standard anticancer drug, cyclophosphamide (16.57 μg/mL).
Conclusion: The results obtained suggest that LCAL needs to be further investigated for its phytochemical composition to unravel its antifungal secondary metabolites. Furthermore, some of the plant extracts are potential anticancer agents.
Keywords: Antifungal, Cytotoxicity, Brine shrimp, Mystroxylon aethiopicum, Lonchocarpus capassa, Albizia anthelmentica, Myrica salicifolia
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