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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 308980, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/308980
Research Article

Which Approach Is More Effective in the Selection of Plants with Antimicrobial Activity?

1Rede Nordeste de Biotecnologia (RENORBIO), Programa de Pós-Graduação, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Dom Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
2Departamento de Biologia, Laboratório de Etnobotânica Aplicada, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Dom Manoel de Medeiros, s/n, Dois Irmãos, 52171-900 Recife, PE, Brazil
3Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Pernambuco, Avenida Agamenon Magalhães, s/n, Santo Amaro, 50100-010 Recife, PE, Brazil
4Departamento de Farmácia, Laboratório de Análises Microbiológicas, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Avenida Professor Moraes Rego, 1235 Cidade Universitária, 50670-901 Recife, PE, Brazil
5Departamento de Farmácia, Laboratório de Produtos Naturais, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Avenida Professor Moraes Rego, 1235 Cidade Universitária, 50670-901 Recife, PE, Brazil

Received 2 February 2013; Revised 3 June 2013; Accepted 8 June 2013

Academic Editor: Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves

Copyright © 2013 Ana Carolina Oliveira Silva 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.

Abstract

The development of the present study was based on selections using random, direct ethnopharmacological, and indirect ethnopharmacological approaches, aiming to evaluate which method is the best for bioprospecting new antimicrobial plant drugs. A crude extract of 53 species of herbaceous plants collected in the semiarid region of Northeast Brazil was tested against 11 microorganisms. Well-agar diffusion and minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) techniques were used. Ten extracts from direct, six from random, and three from indirect ethnopharmacological selections exhibited activities that ranged from weak to very active against the organisms tested. The strain most susceptible to the evaluated extracts was Staphylococcus aureus. The MIC analysis revealed the best result for the direct ethnopharmacological approach, considering that some species yielded extracts classified as active or moderately active (MICs between 250 and 1000 µg/mL). Furthermore, one species from this approach inhibited the growth of the three Candida strains. Thus, it was concluded that the direct ethnopharmacological approach is the most effective when selecting species for bioprospecting new plant drugs with antimicrobial activities.