The Antimicrobial Properties of Terminalia Glaucescens and Zanthoxylum Zanthoxyloides Extracts and the Spectrum of their Activity

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Authors : Mgbe Chinenye Glory, Mgbe Emeka Kevin


The antimicrobial activity of the ethanol extracts of two Nigerian chewing sticks (Terminalia glaucescens and Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides) against oral bacteria and fungi isolates implicated in dental caries were assessed. The aim of the study is to isolate microbial organisms associated with dental caries and to assess the antimicrobial activity of the ethanol extracts of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and Terminalia glaucescens stem used as chewing sticks. The dental extracts from 20 (twenty) patients with clinical features of dental caries were collected from School of dental technology and therapy clinic, Trans-ekulu, Enugu. The patients comprised of 8 males and 12 females with ages ranging from 16-40 years. The disc diffusion method was used in evaluating sensitivity to the extracts and it was observed that all the isolates were sensitive to T. glaucescens at different levels of concentration with a MIC and MBC of 6.25mg/ml for S. pyogenes. The isolated and tested dental pathogens were Escherisia coli, Pseudomonas aerugenosa, Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. However, of the all the isolates E. coli proved resistant to Z. zanthoxyloides extract. Conventional antibiotics were used as positive control while distilled water was used as negative control.

The ability of T. glaucescens and Z. zanthoxyloides extracts to inhibit the growth of the bacteria and fungi in this study is an indication that the plant can be used as a source for antimicrobial agent in the formulation of toothpaste and mouth wash, thus justifying the use of the plant locally as chewing sticks.

Keywords: Dental Caries, Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and Terminalia glaucescens.


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