Antibacterial and antifungal activities of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Aspilia mossambicensis from Hoima district, Uganda
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Current strategies to overcome the global problem of antimicrobial resistance include research in finding new and innovative antimicrobials from plants. This study was carried out to determine the antimicrobial activity of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Aspilia mossambicensis leaves which are used in folklore medicine to treat infections of microbial origin in Hoima district, Uganda. Materials and methods: Ethanol and aqueous extracts were derived and screened for their antimicrobial activity against Standard cultures of E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans using the agar well diffusion assays at concentrations of 15, 30 and 50 mg/ml. Results: Qualitative phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of tannins, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, and glycosides, excluding Alkaloids. Both aqueous and ethanol extracts of the plant exhibited antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus whereas E. coli showed total resistance. The extracts were also effective against fungi tested; Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans. The aqueous and ethanol extracts showed lower antimicrobial activity against the study organisms compared to streptomycin and Miconazole. Similarly, ethanol extracts exhibited better activity than aqueous extracts. This in vitro study corroborated the antimicrobial activity of Aspilia mossambicensis used in folklore medicine.