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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1453428, 5 pages
Research Article

Antimicrobial Activity of Croton macrostachyus Stem Bark Extracts against Several Human Pathogenic Bacteria

1Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
2Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, School of Health Sciences, University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, Eldoret 30100, Kenya
3Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
4Ruralia Institute, University of Helsinki, 50100 Mikkeli, Finland

Received 11 December 2015; Revised 31 March 2016; Accepted 13 April 2016

Academic Editor: Hin-Chung Wong

Copyright © 2016 Jackie K. Obey 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.


In Kenya, leaves and roots from Croton macrostachyus are used as a traditional medicine for infectious diseases such as typhoid and measles, but reports on possible antimicrobial activity of stem bark do not exist. In this study, the antibacterial and antifungal effects of methanol, ethyl acetate and butanol extracts, and purified lupeol of C. macrostachyus stem bark were determined against important human gram-negative pathogens Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Enterobacter aerogenes, gram-positive Listeria monocytogenes, and a fungus Candida albicans. The most promising broad scale antimicrobial activity against all the studied pathogens was shown by the ethyl acetate extract. The ethyl acetate extract induced the zone of inhibition between  mm and  mm against S. typhi, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, E. aerogenes, and L. monocytogenes with weaker antimicrobial activity against C. albicans (zone of inhibition:  mm). The antibiotic controls (amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, ampicillin, benzylpenicillin, clotrimazole, and cefotaxime) showed antimicrobial activity with zones of inhibition within  mm. The ethyl acetate extract had MIC in the range of 125–250 mg/mL against all the studied bacteria and against C. albicans MIC was 500 mg/mL. The present results give scientific evidence and support the traditional use of C. macrostachyus stem bark as a source for antimicrobials. We show that C. macrostachyus stem bark lupeol is a promising antimicrobial agent against several important human pathogens.