In Ethiopia, different
parts of Croton macrostachyus (C. macrostachyus) are used as a common traditional medicine for
infectious diseases such as typhoid and measles, but there is no documented
report on the antimicrobial activity of stem bark of this plant. C. macrostachyus stem bark was extracted
using chloroform, absolute methanol and water and tested for their
antimicrobial activities against Escherichia
coli (E. coli), clinical isolates and standard, and Staphylococcus
aureus (S. aureus), clinical isolates and standard,  using agar well diffusion and broth dilution methods. Chloramphenicol was used as positive
controls, while dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) was served as negative control. The present study showed
the potent antibacterial activity of the C.
macrostachyus stem bark extract againstthe all tested bacterial pathogens.
Methanol extract of C. macrostachyus
stem bark showed the highest zone of inhibition (17+1mm) against S. aureus
(standard) and the lowest zone of inhibition (12+1) against E. coli (clinical). In this study the
minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum
bactericidal concentration (MBC) values of 500 & 500 mg/ml, 62.5 & 125
mg/ml and 250 & 500mg/ml were obtained for water; methanol and chloroform extracts
of C. macrostachyus stem bark against
clinically isolated E. coli respectively.  On the other hand, MIC & MBC values of
250 & 250, 125 & 250 and 125 & 250 mg/ml were recorded for water; methanol
and chloroform extracts of C.
macrostachyus stem bark against S. aureus (standard) respectively. C. macrostachyus stem bark extracts have
demonstrated antibacterial effects particularly on E. coli and S. aureus. Thus, C. macrostachyus stem bark could be effective for prevention of
bacterial infections and may be considered as an alternative to antibiotic
regimens. But further studies should be conducted with different extraction
solvents and toxicity and phytochemical analysis must be performed on these
plants to use as sources and templates for the synthesis of drugs.




Keywords: Antibacterial
activity; Croton
macrostachyus extracts; MBC and MIC

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Microbial diseases continued to be  major threats to the world regardless of
efforts and progress in developing modern medicine. This is due to bacterial
species present the genetic ability to acquire and transmit resistance against
currently available antibacterial since there are frequent reports on the
isolation of bacteria that are known to be sensitive to routinely used drugs
and became multi-resistant to other medications available on the market (Nascimento
et al., 2000).


The impact of microbial diseases is especially important in
developing countries such as Ethiopia where there is limited access to modern
drugs and prices are mostly unaffordable when the latter are available.
Extensive use of antibiotics often resulted in the development of resistant
strains and these create a problem in management of infectious diseases.
Furthermore side effects associated with antibiotics are often fewer when using
medicinal plants (Nega and Tigist,


plants have some reward over antibiotics such that there is better patient
tolerance, relatively less costly, approval due to long history of use and
being renewable in nature (Vermani and Garg, 2002). Currently, the
ever-increasing risk from drug-resistant bacteria calls for a universal effort
to search for novel solutions that can also be based on the natural products from
plants that are selected on the basis of documented ethnomedicinal use (Lulekal
et al., 2014). Medicine from herbs is
readily obtained in our widely varied vegetation, inexpensive and all plant
parts carry the potential for introducing new templates into modern medicine (Jackie, et al., 2016). Natural plant
sources are usually the raw material for most pharmaceutical company (Amin et
al., 2016).


macrostachyus is a deciduous tree belonging to the family
Euphorbiaceae. The leaves are large
and green, turning to orange before falling. It is also characterized by creamy
to yellow-white colored flowers with green (whenyoung) to grey (at maturity)
fruits. C. macrostachyus is commonly named as ‘Bisana’ in Amharic, Ethiopia
and it is an important medicinal plant in East
Africa including Ethiopia (Abraham et al.,
2016). It is traditionally used for the treatment of wound (Giday et al., 2009; Teklehaymanot and Giday, 2007; Abraham et al., 2016)
malaria, rabies, and gonorrhea (Giday et
al., 2007), Tineaversi color, diarrhea, hepatitis, jaundice, and
scabies (Teklehaymanot and Giday, 2007). 


In case of medicinal value C. macrostachyus has many uses. Leaf extract is applied against itchy scalp. A decoction of the
leafy twigs mixed with Justicia
schimperiana is taken to treat jaundice and smallpox. The preparation is taken with pepper, butter and milk. An
infusion of the leafy branches and roots is used as a mouthwash to treat
toothache. The leaves or young shoots of C. macrostachyus are eaten to treat fever and oedema
and mashed leaves are used for haemorrhoids. C. macrostachyus stem bark maceration is drunk as an
abortifacient and uterotonic, to expel a retained placenta. In addition to this
stem bark is chewed to treat toothache (PROTA4U,
2014; Tesemma, 

hydroalcoholic C. macrostachyus stem
bark extracts have been tested against a clinical strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (Mesfin, 2007)
with the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 125–250 mg/ml. There are both negative and positive
reports on the antibacterial activity of methanol extracts from C. macrostachyus leaves (wagate et al., 2010; Matu and Van, 2003; Jackie
et al., 2016). Contrastingresults
could be attributed to the locality of plant species, parts used, time of
collection, storage conditions, and methods of analysis (Jackie et al., 2016; Suffredini et al., 2006). Even though majority of
the Ethiopian population uses traditional medicine, only limited studies were
conducted on the traditional medicinal plants compared to the diversity in
culture and vegetation of the country. The antibacterial effect of C. macrostachyus leaf was studied but
there is no study conducted on the other parts of this plant. Therefore, the objective of this study
was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of chloroform, methanol and water
extracts from C. macrostachyus stem
bark against both clinical and standard strains of E. coli and S. aureus.


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