Antimycobacterial activity of traditional medicinal plants used in Mozambique
Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects about one-third of the world's population, and causes almost 2 million deaths annually. In 2007, there were 9.27 million new TB cases. Despite more than 40 years of anti-TB chemotherapy, tuberculosis remains one of the leading infectious diseases worldwide. The association with HIV epidemic, the increasing emergence of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) make TB virtually untreatable with available drugs [1–3]. From this point, there is evidently an urgent need to develop new and more effective TB drugs. Natural products, well defined as providing novel examples of anti-infective drug leads , play key roles in the modern day chemotherapy of tuberculosis. n Mozambique, where has been reported to possess around 500 plant species using as traditional medicine , medicinal plants are an important part for peoples' basic health care, particularly in rural areas. Due to limited scientific evidence concerning the uses of these plants, it is crucial to establish the safety and efficacy for these medicinal plants. This study evaluated seven plants used in Mozambique traditional medicine to treat tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases. The antimycobacterial activity for different species of mycobacteria such as M. smegmatis, M. bovis BCG, M. avium, and M. tuberculosis was assessed using a rapid screening method (Broth Dilution MIC Method). Five crude extracts of five plants showed promising activity against one or more mycobacterial species with a MIC ranging from 15µg/mL to 250µg/mL. The data support traditional uses of these medicinal plants in Mozambique.
Acknowledgements: This study was supported by a fellowship from FCT, Portugal (reference number SFRH/BPD/37179/2007).
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