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Antimicrobial Activity Of Flavonoids From Piper Lanceaefolium And Other Colombian Medicinal Plants Against Antibiotic Susceptible And Resistant Strains Of Neisseria Gonorrhoeae

P. Ruddock, M. Charland, S. Ramirez, Andrés López, G. H. Neil Towers, J. Arnason, M. Liao, J. Dillon
Published 2011 · Biology, Medicine

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Background: The successful treatment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infections is increasingly problematic because of the resistance of this pathogen to multiple antimicrobial agents. This development underscores the need for new antimicrobial sources. In the current study, 21 crude methanol extracts, from 19 plants used in Colombian traditional medicine for cutaneous infections, were screened for antimicrobial activity against NG. Methods: Extracts were screened by disc susceptibility assay. In addition, the minimum inhibitory concentrations of active compounds from P. lanceaefolium were assayed using a panel of 26 NG strains comprising 12 antibiotic-resistant phenotypes. Results: In all, 71% of the crude extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against the antibiotic susceptible NG strain WHO V, whereas 10% of the extracts inhibited penicillinase-producing NG strain GC1–182. The crude extract of Piper lanceaefolium was the only extract to show significant activity without ultraviolet (UV) light activation. Preliminary screening identified 3 compounds in this plant possessing antimicrobial activity: the flavonoids 5,7-dihydroxyflavanone (pinocembrin), 2′,4′,6′-trihydroxychalcone (pinocembrin chalcone), and the prenylated benzoic acid derivative cyclolanceaefolic acid methyl ester. Pinocembrin and pinocembrin chalcone inhibited 100% of the NG panel at 64 &mgr;g/mL and 128 &mgr;g/mL, respectively, whereas cyclolanceaefolic acid methyl ester inhibited 44% of the strains at 128 &mgr;g/mL. Conclusions: This is the first report of the antibacterial activity of Columbian plants against NG. The activity of the 2 flavonoids, pinocembrin, and pinocembrin chalcone, toward both susceptible and resistant NG strains makes them promising candidates for further research.
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