Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Taraxacum mongolicum extract exhibits antimicrobial activity against respiratory tract bacterial strains in vitro and in neonatal rats by enhancing systemic Th1 immunity

Chengdong Sun, Yan Wang, Xuemei Zhang


Purpose: To study the antimicrobial activity of the Taraxacum mongolicum extract against respiratory infection-causing bacterial strains in vitro and in neonatal rats.

Methods: The in vitro antibacterial activity was assessed by micro-dilution method. Antioxidant activity was determined by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), nitro blue tetrazolium (NBT) and 2, 2- diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays. In vivo antimicrobial activity was evaluated in neonatal rat model. Interleukin (IL)-2 (IL-2) and gamma interferon (IFN-γ) were estimated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: The hydro-methanol extract of T. mongolicum contained high levels of phenolics and flavonoids, and exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against respiratory infection-causing bacterial species with MICs of 25 - 100 μg/ml, and MBCs of 55 - 215 μg/ml. The highest and lowest antimicrobial activities were observed against Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza, respectively. The extract at doses of 25 and 50 mg/kg exerted protective effects against Streptococcus pneumonia infected neonatal rats by boosting their Th1 immunity. It enhanced the production of interleukin (IL)-2, concomitant with decreased production of interferon (IFN)-γ in neonatal rats. The extract contained isoetin, hesperidin, naringenin, kaempferol, sinapinic and gallic acid.

Conclusion: These results suggest that the hydro-methanolic extract of Taraxacum mongolicum and its constituents can be potentially developed for use in the management of respiratory bacterial infections.

Keywords: Respiratory tract infection, Interleukin, Taraxacum mongolicum, Immunity, Neonatal rats
AJOL African Journals Online