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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 684839, 6 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Alchornea laxiflora (Benth.) Pax. & Hoffman

1SA-MRC Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Centre, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
2Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
3Department of Microbiology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife 234, Osun State, Nigeria
4GI Microbiology and Biotechnology Unit, Agricultural Research Council, Animal Production Institute, Irene, Pretoria 0062, South Africa
5Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Technology, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa

Received 27 October 2014; Accepted 28 December 2014

Academic Editor: Mohd R. Sulaiman

Copyright © 2015 David A. Akinpelu 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.


Alchornea laxiflora leaf extract was tested against a range of microorganisms using standard microbiological methods for antimicrobial activities. The extract inhibited the growth of all the bacterial and 15 fungal isolates tested. The zones of inhibition exhibited against the test bacteria ranged between 12 mm and 24 mm and between 11 mm and 24 mm for the extract and the antibiotic streptomycin, respectively. The zones of inhibition observed against the fungal isolates by the extract ranged between 12 mm and 23 mm. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and the minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) exhibited by the extract against test bacteria ranged between 0.78 mg/mL–25 mg/mL and 1.56 mg/mL–25 mg/mL, respectively, while the MICs and minimum fungicidal concentrations (MFCs) values for the test fungi ranged between 8.75 mg/mL–35.00 mg/mL and 8.75 mg/mL–35.00 mg/L, respectively. The preliminary phytochemical screening of the extract revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, and reducing sugars as major phytoconstituents in the extract. A. laxiflora leaf extract is a potent source of antibacterial and antifungal compounds; further studies on the extract are ongoing in our laboratories to elucidate the probable mechanism(s) of action on bacteria and fungi found to be susceptible to the extract.