You are on page 1of 5

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 7 (11), pp.

1684-1688, 3 June, 2008
Available online at
ISSN 1684–5315 © 2008 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

In vitro time kill assessment of crude methanol extract
of Helichrysum pedunculatum leaves
Aiyegoro, O. A.1, Afolayan, A. J.2 and Okoh, A. I.1*
Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology,
University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, Private Bag X1314, South Africa.
Phytomedicine Group, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, Private Bag X1314, South Africa.
Accepted 26 February, 2008

The in vitro antibacterial activities and time kill regimes of crude methanol extract of Helichrysum
pedunculatum was assessed using standard microbiological procedures. The experiment was
conducted against a panel of bacterial species made up of clinical, environmental and reference strains.
The extract was active against eleven of the twenty-one bacteria tested at a concentration of 10 mg/ml.
Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) values for all the susceptible bacteria ranged between 0.1 – 5.0
mg/ml. The average log reduction in viable cell count in time kill assay ranged between 0.17 Log10 to
6.37 Log10 cfu/ml after 6 h of interaction, and between 0.14 Log10 and 6.99 Log10 cfu/ml after 12 h
interaction in 1×MIC and 2×MIC of the extract. The extract was bactericidal against 8 of the test bacteria
at 1×MIC and against 9 of the test bacteria at 2×MIC from 12 h interaction period. At both MIC levels, the
extract was bactericidal to all the reference strains and four of the six environmental strains at both MIC
levels after 12 h of interaction. Also the extract was bactericidal to four of the six environmental strains
at both MIC levels after 12 h of interaction and bacteriostatic during the first 6 h of interaction. Inhibitory
levels of crude methanol extract of H. pedunculatum could be bacteriostatic or bactericidal independent
of Gram’s characteristic.

Key words: Helichrysum pedunculatum, methanol extract, MIC, time-kill.


The Genus Helichrysum, from the family Asteraceae, is 1999; Grierson and Afolayan, 1999; Mathekga et al.,
large, comprising of about 500 species with 246 growing 2000), and in East Africa, they are used for menstrual
in South Africa (Afolayan and Meyer, 1997). Some and abdominal pains. While the first therapeutic uses of
members of the family are: Helichrysum pedunculatum, the plant were based on folk medicine, in vivo and in vitro
Helichrysum longifolium, Helichrysum stoechas, studies also proved its choleric and hepatoprotective
Helichrysum apendunculatum, Helichrysum kraussii and properties (Czinner et al., 2001). In Europe, infusions are
Helichrysum nudifolium. Members of the genus are prepared from inflorescences of Helichrysum because of
usually aromatic, perennial shrubs, having dense-woolly their bile regulatory and diuretic effects (Cosar and
leaves with hardy inflorescence parts that are usually Cubucku, 1990). In South Africa, Helichrysum species
brightly coloured (Mathekga et al., 2000). are used extensively for stress-related ailments and as
Extracts of various species have been used to treat dressings for wounds normally encountered in circum-
topical infections, respiratory ailments and as dressing of cision rites, bruises, cuts and sores (Grierson and
circumcision wounds (Stafford et al., 2005). The antimi- Afolayan, 1999; Lourens et al., 2004).
crobial activities of extracts from Helichrysum species H. pedunculatum (Hilliard and Burtt) is a perennial herb
have been widely reported (Bougatsos et al., 2004; Eloff, with a wide distribution, it is found within the range of
boarders of Southern Lesotho to the Eastern Cape Pro-
vince of South Africa (Meyer and Dilika, 1996). The
‘Xhosas’ of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
*Corresponding author. Email: commonly use the plant to dress wound acquired after

clinical isolates obtained from wound sepsis (Staphyloco- ccus aureus OKOH 2B. Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 7700.99 Log10 cfu/ml after 12 h interaction in each test strain was standardized at 5 × 105 cfu/ml using McFarland Nephelometer standard according to the National Committee for 1×MIC and 2×MIC of the extract. pedunculatum and the nature of their inhibition by in vitro time-kill assay. Two of test organisms ATCC 4352. Klebsiella pneumoniae the H. MICs for the reference and environ- mental strains ranged between 0. Average log reduction in viable used to prepare dilution of the extract in molten Mueller Hinton agar cell count in time kill assay ranged between 0.. The extract produced a Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS.14 Log10 and 6. 2000). Two blank plates containing nutrient agar and 5% methanol without this paper. However. This gave a yield of about 12 g of the crude extract. Proteus vulgaris CSIR 0030. Proteus vulgaris. pedunculatum (Table 1). The organisms were sub-cultured inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of the extract against the in nutrient broth and nutrient agar (Biolab) while Mueller Hinton II susceptible bacteria generally ranged between 0. methanol extract of H.1-5. of which five were reference strains and the environmental strains (Micrococcus luteus. England) and stored in an air-tight Inocula were prepared following the described guidelines of container for further use.1-5. Controls included extract free filtrate was concentrated to dryness in vacuo using a rotary Mueller Hinton broth seeded with the test inoculum. in Plates were incubated under aerobic conditions at 37oC for 24 h. The 2 clinical Escherichia coli. there is paucity of information in radial patterns on the agar plates (Afolayan and Meyer. Data are presented in terms of the log10 cfu/ml change Screening of the methanol extract of the plant for antibacterial and are based on the conventional bactericidal activity activity was done in accordance with the method of Afolayan and Meyer (1997). Enterococcus faecalis. Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538. Engineers. The minimum subtilis. pulve. air-dried. on the nature of bacterial inhibition of the plant.0 mg/ml respectively (Table 1). aureus OKOH 2B and S. Shigella flexineri.37 Log10 cfu/ml after 6 h of interaction.17 Log10 to maintained in a water bath at 50oC to attain a concentration of 10 6. isolates S. Determination of minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) MATERIALS AND METHODS The MIC was determined using the agar dilution method (EUCAST. The inoculum size of 0. The extract was diluted such that the highest concen-tration Plant material of the solvent in agar was 5% (Predetermined to have no inhibitory effect on the test organism). Each test was done in triplicate. 2001). as the lowest dilution (least concentration) of extract showing no rials were compared with the voucher specimen earlier collected visible growth of the test organism. Hence. The MIC was taken Province of South Africa. Christy and Norris Ltd. Antibacterial susceptibility test The results of time-kill studies are presented in Table 2. The plant mate. nine were reference strains. remaining six were environmental strains. we report the antibacterial activity of the the extract. Stock solution of the extract was prepared by standard. and (Table 1). and between mg/ml and final methanol concentration of 5%. Eleven of the test bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 19582. Aiyegoro et al. pedunculatum were collected from the vicinity of the broth cultures of the test organisms diluted 1:100 with fresh sterile Research Farm of the University of Fort Hare. Bacillus were not susceptible to the extract.0 mg/ml and 0. EUCAST (2003). Staphylococcus aureus OKOH 3). The resultant suspension was diluted 1:100 with fresh sterile broth and used to inoculate 50 ml volumes of Mueller Hinton broth incorporated with extract at MIC and 2 × MIC to a final Preparation of extract cell density of approximately 5 × 105 cfu/ml. Chelmsford. Specifically. ten were environmental strains and pumilus ATCC 14884. the and incubated at 37oC for 24 h. This was the viable colony number. 1997). during September 2007. pedunculatum.0 Agar (Biolab) was used for susceptibility. served as controls. a 3Log10 cfu/ml or greater reduction in reconstituting the dried extract in the extracting solvent. Eastern Cape nutrient broth and incubated for 18 h at 37oC. The leaf was picked and washed with water to remove all unwanted plant materials and sand. Determination of the rate of kill of the crude extract was done rized in a mill (Christy Lab Mill. 1685 circumcision rite. evaporator. diluted serially and 100 µl using methanol with occasional shaking (Okeke et al.41 Log10-1. The of the diluted samples were plated on Mueller Hinton agar plates mixture was then filtered (using Whatmann’s no 1 filter paper).54 Log10-6. The Plant materials were later confirmed by the curator of the Herbarium Time-kill assay to be H. Process following the procedure described by Okoli and Iroegbu (2005). Pseudo. Klebsiella pneumoniae). The inocula were streaked reduction after 6 h at concentration equal to 1×MIC and . minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and time-kill tests. Alice. A 500 µl sample was Exactly 135 g of the pulverized leaf of the plant was cold extracted removed from cultures at 0. mg/ml.37 Log10 Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)). Bacillus were clinical isolates. Plates were inoculated with overnight Leaves of H. The flasks were incuba- ted at 37oC on an orbital shaker at 120 rpm. from the same spot and deposited at the Griffin’s Herbarium of the Plant Science building of the University of Fort Hare in Alice. aureus OKOH 3 monas aeruginosa. Micrococcus kristinae. 6 and 12 h..5-5. Escherichia coli ATCC were susceptible at the test concentration (10 mg/ml) 25922). Serratia marsecens screened for susceptibility to crude methanol extract of ATCC 9986. 1993) (now Clinical and range of 0. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Test bacterial strains Twenty-one bacteria species made up of seven Gram Bacterial isolates used in this study included reference strains positive and fourteen Gram negative bacteria were obtained from the South African Bureau of Standard (SABS) (Acinetobacter calcaoceticus anitratus CSIR.19 Log10 and 0. Salmonella spp. that is.

19 6.44* 5.40* 1. aeruginosa ATCC 19582 0. off by the sixth hour at both 1×MIC and 2×MIC.0 5. + 5.28* § P.0 Serratia marsecens ATCC 9986 .47 § B.98 Log10–6.28* 0. .99* S.71 6. Biotechnol.79 6.44 Log10 reductions after 6 that the total population of the bacteria have been wiped h at concentration equal to 1×MIC and 2×MIC respec.73* P.44* Key: MIC represents minimum inhibitory concentration.represents no antibacterial activity.0 Bacillus pumilus ATCC 14884 + + 5. 2×MIC respectively and a range of 5.44 Log10 and 0. J. .5.98* § K. kristinae (environ- .37* B.5 § Enterococcus faecalis .47 6.63 6.44 Log10 after an increase in inoculum size for M.5 Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 4352 .5 0.5 0. the log reduction was the range for environmental strains is between 0. On the other hand. There is tively and a range between 0.83 6.44* § P. + 0. §are environmental strains.51 6. subtilis (environmental strain) was 5.65 1.44* 5.99* 0. .54 6. . ND § Salmonella spp.5 0.99 0. ND represents not determined. growth relative to the starting inoculum is indicated by plus (+) sign. thus suggesting . . aeruginosa ATCC 7700 0.07 6.99* P.37* 6. + 0.5 Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 + + 5. .5.0 0. Isolate Identity Gram reaction Antibacterial activity (10 mg/ml) MIC (mg/ml) Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 . MIC represents minimum inhibitory concentration. ND Staphylococcus aureus OKOH 3 + .0 1. aureus ATCC 6538 5.02 5. pumilus ATCC 14884 5.17 Log10 constant until after 12 h even at 2×MIC.73* 1.91 3.14 § Micrococcus luteus 0. ND Acinetobacter calcaoceticus anitratus CSIR . aeruginosa 0.72 6. vulgaris 0.20* 0. pneumoniae 5. Table 1.5 0. pedunculatum leaves against bacterial isolates. vulgaris CSIR 0030 5.5 Staphylococcus aureus OKOH 2B + . + 0. §are environmental strains.17 0.0 § Bacillus subtilis + + 1.65 Log10 . Table 2. subtilis 1.99 Log10 .92 6. ND Proteus vulgaris CSIR 0030 .6.20* § Micrococcus kristinae 0. .0 § Shigella flexneri .37* 6.44* 5.0 Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 7700 .1 § Micrococcus luteus + + 0. + 5. ND § Pseudomonas aeruginosa . Log reduction on reduction after 12 h at both 1×MIC and 2×MIC B.98* 1. + represent presence of antibacterial activity.44 Log10 cfu/ml respectively on the reference strains.1 +0.5 0. .99 Log10 12 h at 1×MIC and 2×MIC respectively. ND § Klebsiella pneumoniae . pedunculatum leaves on bacterial isolates.0 1.44 +0.41 6.99* 0. after 6 h of interaction at 1×MIC. * represents bactericidal effect. Log10 Kill (MIC) Log10 Kill (2×MIC) Susceptible isolates MIC (mg/ml) 6h 12 h 6h 12 h P.36 0. Antibacterial activities of crude methanol extract of H. ND Key: are clinical isolates.5 § Proteus vulgaris .1686 Afr.05 +0. ND § Escherichia coli .0 0.58 5. . + 0. ND § Micrococcus kristinae + + 0. ND Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 19582 . Nature of inhibition of crude methanol extracts of H. .

The greatest reductions organism. Eze EN. pneumoniae (environmental strain) after 12 h Afolayan AJ. Okoli AS. pedunculatum caespititium. on the test bacteria in this experiment is time and Lourens ACU. Int. Ethnopharmacol.. while circumcision wounds infection even after treating such the greatest reduction with the environmental strains is wounds with H. J. NCCLS (National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards). The value there is an incidence of high death rate resulting from is on the average of 6. Runyoro DKB. reason why H. Meyer JJM (1997). Antimicrob. peroxidation. pedunculatum could therefore be Czinner E. as it is evident from the data (2004). ailments among the traditional people. Lemberkovics E bacteriostatic or bactericidal independent of Gram’s (2001). J. The in vitro effect of Helichrysum flos on microsomal lipid staining characteristic. M7-A3.99 Log10. Eloff JN (1999). Afr. pedunculatum is being used in folkloric EUCAST (European Committee for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing). Mathekga ADM. (1993). Agents. 5.05 Log10 . aeruginosa extract is worrisome and this could be one reason why. It was not able to inhibit Bougatsos C. Zeitschrift fúr it only showed about 0. was more pronounced at 2×MIC. Clin. The antimicrobial activity of 3. The nature of bacterial inhibition of extract could activity. Antibacterial activity of some determining tolerance (Nostro et al. 7- interaction at both the 1×MIC and 2×MIC. The extract exhibited bacteriostatic effect on K. 95(3): 148-152. Phytochem. Antibacterial activity of Helichrysum on a wide range of microorganisms and this support the pedunculatum used in circumcision rites.. spectrum antibacterial activity against many bacteria Evaluation of the root of Landolphia owerrience for antibacterial species. Blazovics A. two Helichrysum species from Tanzania. Ethnopharmacol.. Viljoen AM. presented. Horn MM.. Esimone CO (2001). Approved Standard. pedunculatum leaf. 78: 119-127. Villa- nova. Chinou IB (2004). either be bacteriostatic or bactericidal depending on the Okoli S. Okeke MI. methanol extract of H. Cannatelli MA. J. 95: 253-258. Kery A. Chemical the growth of M. S. The antibacterial activity of 27 South African members Results obtained from this study suggest the possible of the Combretaceae. Infect. medicines for the treatment of various human topical (2000). 53: 51- folkloric uses of this plant in treatment of different topical 54. Antibacterial activity of Helichrysum inoculum size (a weak activity). Generally. Hagmasi K. Determination of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of infections. Conclusion Nostro A. Meyer JJM. kristinae (environmental strain) at both composition and in vitro antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of 1×MIC and 2×MIC. Inhibitory levels of crude species growing in Turkey. the indigenous plants used for the treatment of wounds in the Eastern effect of the crude methanol extract of H. six environmental strains at both MIC levels after 12 h of interaction and bacteriostatic during the first 6 h of REFERENCES interaction.. 66: 103-106. the extract was bactericidal to all the reference strains after We are grateful to the National Research Foundation 12 h and generally bacteriostatic during the first 6 h of (NRF) of South Africa for supporting this research (Grant interaction. Clin. Afolayan AJ (1999). Aiyegoro et al.44 Log10 after 12 h at both MIC levels and this indicate irrespective of Gram’s staining characteristic of the test resistance to the extract. pedunculatum has a broad ofStaphylococcus aureus. In vitro antibacterial activity of Synclisa .. Cosar G. Cubukcu B (1990).14 Log10 cfu/ml reduction in Naturforschung 59c: 368-372. et al. more bacteria were killed. NCCLS. 18: 583-585. Drewes SE (2000). Ngassapa O. At both MIC levels. 57(3): 177-181. J. 77: 31-35.44 Log10 reduction could be of more relevance in combination therapy and a after 12 h at 2×MIC. At higher concentration (2×MIC) and longer Ethnopharmacol. 6(9): 509-515.. 2001). Ethnopharmacol. Iroegbu CU (2005). The effectiveness of an antibacterial agent is antibacterial agents by agar dilution. An acylated The in vitro data corroborates the reported efficacies of Phloroglucinol with antimicrobial properties from Helichrysum the several different crude extracts of H. Baser KHC. the increase in log range from 0. Grisafi G.. pedunculatum Cape. J. Generally the reference strains were source of resistance modifying principles which is the more susceptible to the extract than the environmental subject of on going studies in our group.. 53: 93-96. J.. duration of interaction (12 h). Meyer JJM. Also the extract was bactericidal to four of the number TTK2006061400023). luteus which is 6. South Africa. Microbiol. strains. 9(8): 1- agent and are one of the most reliable methods for 7. Fitoterapia LXI: 161-164. Sci.. 1687 mental strain). Alonszo V (2001). In vitro time-kill assays are expressed as the (2003). but the effect trihydroxyflavone isolated from he shoot of Helichrysum aureonitens. Methods for Dilution Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests for Bacteria that Grow Aerobically. measured by its ability to inhibit and kill bacteria (Nostro EUCAST (European Committee for Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing). Grierson DS. In vitro biological activity and essential oil composition of four indigenous South African Helichrysum species. Szoke E. Iroegbu CU. The extract was bactericidal against 8 of the test bacteria at 1×MIC and against 9 of the test bacteria at ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 2×MIC for 12 h interaction period. Ethnopharmacol. Determination of minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of rate of killing by a fixed concentration of an antimicrobial antibacterial agents by broth dilution. concentration of the extract and the exposure time 0. Dilika F (1996). Perhaps the plant achieved with M. but after 12 h of interaction at 2×MIC. aeruginosa ATCC 7700. Reddy D. J. 2001). Van Vuuren SF concentration dependent. J. Infect. PA. Microbiol. The effect of Nepata cataria extract on adherence and enzyme production Crude methanol extract of H. ATCC 19582 and P. after 12 h at 2×MIC. Ethnopharmacol. The resistance of the clinical isolates to the achieved within the reference strains are in P.

scabrida whole root extract. J. J. 4(9): 946-952.1688 Afr. . Van Staden J (2005).. Ethnopharmacol. J. Biotechnol. Effect of storage on the chemical composition and biological activity of several popular South African medicinal plants. Biotechnol.. Afr. Jäger AK. 97: 107-115. Stafford GI.