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Native New Zealand plants with inhibitory activity towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis


Earl, EA and Altaf, M and Murikoli, RV and Swift, S and O'Toole, R, Native New Zealand plants with inhibitory activity towards Mycobacterium tuberculosis, BMC Alternative Medicine, 10 Article 25. ISSN 1472-6882 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1186/1472-6882-10-25


BACKGROUND: Plants have long been investigated as a source of antibiotics and other bioactives for the treatment of human disease. New Zealand contains a diverse and unique flora, however, few of its endemic plants have been used to treat tuberculosis. One plant, Laurelia novae-zelandiae, was reportedly used by indigenous Maori for the treatment of tubercular lesions.

METHODS: Laurelia novae-zelandiae and 44 other native plants were tested for direct anti-bacterial activity. Plants were extracted with different solvents and extracts screened for inhibition of the surrogate species, Mycobacterium smegmatis. Active plant samples were then tested for bacteriostatic activity towards M. tuberculosis and other clinically-important species.

RESULTS: Extracts of six native plants were active against M. smegmatis. Many of these were also inhibitory towards M. tuberculosis including Laurelia novae-zelandiae (Pukatea). M. excelsa (Pohutukawa) was the only plant extract tested that was active against Staphylococcus aureus.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide support for the traditional use of Pukatea in treating tuberculosis. In addition, our analyses indicate that other native plant species possess antibiotic activity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Medical microbiology
Research Field:Medical bacteriology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:O'Toole, R (Dr Ronan O'Toole)
ID Code:95753
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2014-10-08
Last Modified:2014-10-08

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