Four out of five individuals rely on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare needs. Medicinal plants are endowed with diverse bioactive compounds to treat multidrug-resistant (MDR) microbes. So far, a less thorough examination has been made in this regard. This study aimed to evaluate antimicrobial activity and phytochemical screening of selected medicinal plants against MDR microbes.


In vitro experimental study was carried out to evaluate antimicrobial effects and phytochemical screening of Rumex abyssinicusCucumis pustulatusDiscopodium penninerviumLippia adoensisEuphorbia depauperataCirsium englerianum, and Polysphaeria aethiopica against MDR bacteria and fungi. Aqueous and 80% methanolic extraction methods were employed for extraction. The susceptibility test, minimum inhibitory concentration, and minimum bactericidal or fungicidal concentration were measured using disc diffusion or broth micro-dilution as per the CLSI protocols.


The 80% methanolic extraction method was a preferred method to aqueous. The phytochemical constituents identified were alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, phenolic, tannins, terpenoidss, and cardiac glycosides. The hydroalcoholic extract demonstrated an appreciable antimicrobial role against MDR microbes with an MIC value of 1.0–128.0μg/ml and 11-29mm inhibition zone (IZ) in diameter. Extracts obtained from Cenglerianum and Edepauperata showed a significant IZ ranged of 26-29mm on MRSA and Streptococcus pyogenes. MDR Ecoli and Kpneumoniae showed 12-25mm and 23-28mm IZ in diameter, respectively. Tmentagraphytes was susceptible to all tested extracts. Moreover, Spyogenes and Kpneumoniae were found the most susceptible bacteria to CenglerianumCirsium englerianumLadoensisDpenninerviumand Rabyssinicus demonstrated remarkable antifungal effect against Calbicans and Tmentagrophytes, while Rabyssinicus showed the leading antifungal effect with 32 to 64μg/ml MIC values.


The plant extracts have shown appreciable antimicrobial activities comparable to the currently prescribed modern drugs tested. Accordingly, further studies on clinical efficacy trial, safety, toxicity and affordability analyses have to be instigated promptly, so as to head to the final step to synthesize precursor molecules for new effective antimicrobials.

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