Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 808979, 9 pages
Research Article

Synergistic Antimycobacterial Actions of Knowltonia vesicatoria (L.f) Sims

1Department of Plant Science, University of Pretoria, Gauteng Pretoria 0002, South Africa
2Department of Chemistry of Medicinal Plants, National Research Center, El-Tahrir Street, Dokki, Cairo 12311, Egypt
3Instituto de Química Orgánica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain

Received 18 January 2012; Accepted 19 February 2012

Academic Editor: Victor Kuete

Copyright © 2012 Antoinette Labuschagné et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Euclea natalensis A.DC., Knowltonia vesicatoria (L.f) Sims, and Pelargonium sidoides DC. are South African plants traditionally used to treat tuberculosis. Extracts from these plants were used in combination with isoniazid (INH) to investigate the possibility of synergy with respect to antimycobacterial activity. The ethanol extract of K. vesicatoria was subjected to fractionation to identify the active compounds. The activity of the Knowltonia extract remained superior to the fractions with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 625.0 μg/mL against Mycobacterium smegmatis and an MIC of 50.00 μg/mL against M. tuberculosis. The K. vesicatoria extract was tested against two different drug-resistant strains of M. tuberculosis, which resulted in an MIC of 50.00 μg/mL on both strains. The combination of K. vesicatoria with INH exhibited the best synergistic antimycobacterial activity with a fractional inhibitory concentration index of 0.25 (a combined concentration of 6.28 μg/mL). A fifty percent inhibitory concentration of this combination against U937 cells was 121.0 μg/mL. Two compounds, stigmasta-5,23-dien-3-ol (1) and 5-(hydroxymethyl)furan-2(5H)-one (2), were isolated from K. vesicatoria as the first report of isolation for both compounds from this plant and the first report of antimycobacterial activity. Compound (1) was active against drug-sensitive M. tuberculosis with an MIC of 50.00 μg/mL.