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Asres, K., Bucar, F., Edelsbrunner, S., Kartnig, T., Höger, G., & Thiel, W. (2001). Investigations on antimycobacterial activity of some ethiopian medicinal plants. Phytotherapy Research, 15(4), 323–326. 
Resource type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1002/ptr.724
ID no. (ISBN etc.): 0951418X
BibTeX citation key: Asres2001b
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Categories: General
Keywords: Antimycobacterial activity, Combretum molle, Ellagitannins, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Punicalagin, Saponins
Creators: Asres, Bucar, Edelsbrunner, Höger, Kartnig, Thiel
Collection: Phytotherapy Research
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Fifteen crude extracts prepared from seven Ethiopian medicinal plants used to treat various infectious diseases were assessed for their ability to inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. A preliminary screening of the crude extracts against M. tuberculosis typus humanus (ATCC 27294) was done by dilution assay using Löwenstein-Jensen medium. None of the tested extracts except the acetone fraction obtained from the stem bark of Combretum molle (R. Br. ex G. Don.) Engl & Diels (Combretaceae) showed significant inhibitory action against this strain. The acetone fraction of the stem bark of C. molle caused complete inhibition at concentrations higher than I mg/mL. Phytochemical analysis of the bioactive fraction led to the isolation of a major tannin and two oleanane-type pentacyclic triterpene glycosides. The tannin was identified as the ellagitannin, punicalagin, whilst the saponins were characterized as arjunglucoside (also called 4-epi-sericoside) and sericoside. All the pure compounds were further tested against the ATCC strain. Punicalagin was found to inhibit totally growth of the ATCC and also of a patient strain, which was fully sensitive to the standard antituberculosis drugs, at concentrations higher than 600 $μ$g/mL and 1.2 mg/mL, respectively. On the other hand, the saponins failed to show any action on the ATCC strain. It appears that our findings are the first report of tannins exhibiting antimycobacterial activity. Copyright ©2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.